Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Members of the National Association of Industrial Pharmacists (NAIP) have organised a free medical programme in Omor, an agrarian town in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The programme was part of its 22nd national conference in the state.
The team, led by the national chairman of the association, Ignatius Anukwu, along with the president of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, visited the traditional ruler of Omor, Igwe Oranu Chris Chidume, on arrival at the town.
Igwe Chidume, who is the chairman of Krisoral and Company Limited, thanked the association for choosing Omor for the medical programme
He said that the outreach would go a long way in helping the people appreciate matters pertaining to their.
“I thank you immensely for choosing Omor for the free medical outreach. There has been a longstanding relationship between pharmacists and the town. Last year, during my first Ofala, we honoured the immediate past president of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Alhaji Ahmed Yakassai, with a honorary chieftaincy title.
“What the association is doing today is complementing the strides of our able governor in the health sector. He has been performing remarkably well in that regard,” he said.
Anukwu commended the Igwe for the reception given to his team.
He said the theme of this year’s conference was “Disruptive Innovation: Unleashing the Nigerian Pharmaceutical Industry.”
He noted that the theme was informed by the mantra that 70 per cent of all essential drugs should be produced in the country, while 30 per cent could be left to importation.
“But the reverse is the case. The implication of this is that drug production initiatives and control are outside the regulation of the indigenous pharmacists.
“The biggest challenge is government patronage. Pharmaceutical companies the world over are supported by government. I enjoin the Nigerian government to put interest in the sector by providing infrastructure, and adequate power supply, which is a major challenge in the production of medicines. I request government to provide pharmaceutical parks with power plant, water treatment plants, roads, etc. This will attract pharmaceutical industries and result in making drug production cheaper,” Anukwu said.
Ohuabunwa thanked the traditional ruler of Omor for the warm reception. He also noted that: “We are in an era where we are trying to reform the pharmacy practice. The practice has been infiltrated by all kinds of people. Some are charlatans. They have no business in handling medicines.
“Pharmacists are custodians of medicine. We went through school for several years to understand what medicines are and what they do and how they can be used to get beneficial results and how they can be used to get worst results. That is our major job, to protect the patients from the harmful effects of medicine.”
Ohabunwa said medicines were both useful and harmful, and advised that people should consume medicines only with the advice of pharmacists.
The senior special assistant to the governor on pharmaceutical matters, Mr. Chibuzor Okaa, said health was paramount to Governor Willie Obiano’s administration.
He said what the pharmacists were doing was in line with what Governor Obiano had been doing in the health sector.