The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacists is gearing up for the investiture of 15 accomplished pharmacists into its esteemed ranks.
The investiture, billed for October 22 will have as guest speaker, respected clinical pharmacy teacher and practitioner, Dr. Teresa Pounds.
Dr. Pounds, who is the Pharmacy Residency Program Director and the Manager of the Clinical Pharmacy Services at Wellstar Atlanta Medical Centre in the United States, is also the President of the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas.
Using empirical evidence from several developed countries, including the US, Dr. Pounds will be speaking on the imperative of expanding the roles of pharmacists to incorporate primary healthcare in greater depth, in order to fast-track universal health access by Nigerians.
According to Professor Fola Tayo, Pro-Chancellor of Caleb University and Secretary of the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy, “the health professions are in a continuous state of flux and, all over the world, emphasis is increasingly on optimizing the value which each profession can bring to the table for the benefit of mankind.”
Prof. Tayo explained that across the world, it is becoming increasingly evident that with the close proximity and accessibility of pharmacists to the community, there is an imperative to deploy these advantages to help redress primary healthcare challenges.
For instance, he said, “Across the US, millions of Americans are receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations in their neighbourhood pharmacies. They need not necessarily go all the way to the medical centre or clinic if there is a pharmacy nearby. This is just one indication of how things are changing in the way people access healthcare around the world.”
Professor Tayo explained that “Given the urgency to redress Nigeria’s rather unpalatable healthcare indices, the country needs to embrace new thinking and new approaches in redressing its healthcare challenges.”
Pharmacists, he said, “are trained at huge cost to the state and are an immense resource, which Nigeria can benefit a lot more from than it is currently doing. Enhancing their roles in primary healthcare would translate to added value for the country.”
Accomplished pharmacists, including teachers, researchers, industry practitioners and others, are expected to be inducted into the elite academy later in the month. Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, is expected to grace the investiture, alongside a host of several distinguished players in the healthcare sector.
Founded in 2014, the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy seeks to, among other things, continuously contribute to efforts to enable Nigeria advance universal health access.
These include efforts to advance drug research and development, the study and teaching of Pharmacy and the pharmaceutical sciences as well as pharmaceutical practice in all of its ramifications.
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