BY PATIENCE IVIE IHEJIRIKA and ROYAL IBE
The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAPHARM) and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) have inaugurated a special committee on COVID-19 in efforts to tackle the pandemic.
The committee comprises pharmaceutical professionals, researchers, academia and editors from various media.
The president, NAPHARM, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, at the inauguration of the committee, on Tuesday, said the importance of the partnership, cannot be over-emphasized, as it will help address the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Adelusi-Adeluyi said, “It is the first time that a non-health sector group has been chosen as partners to underscore the need to create awareness around the COVID-19 pandemic. We strongly believe that much more can be achieved together if we pull resources together in such a way that we amplify the good and debunk the bad.”
To attain the objectives of the partnership, the president of the academy said pharmacists have a role to play, they have to be seen as playing that role, and one way to penetrate the public is to bring in the media.
Although a global challenge, Adelusi-Adeluyi said, the pandemic had presented an opportunity for pharmacists to break new grounds, adding that, “COVID-19 is a crisis and we have been exposed to it, but we must not let the opportunity waste away because this is our chance to break new grounds.
“We need to tackle the issues that COVID-19 is real and that it is propelling the fear factor among a section of the population. We also need to look at the various conspiracy theories surrounding the virus and how we need to involve all in a national discussion about vaccination”, he said.
Vice president, NAPHARM, Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi said the academy was established to promote scientific research and professional development in the health and pharmaceutical sectors to overcome challenges posed by sicknesses and diseases, and to fast-track social and economic development in Nigeria.
To this end, Atueyi acknowledged the fresh challenge presented by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic to the academy in keeping up with its mandate.
In his reaction, president, NGE, Isah Mustapha, commended NAPHARM for taking a collaborative approach to its COVID-19 response mechanism.
He said the NGE welcomed the academy’s COVID-19 initiative and assured that ordinary Nigerians would benefit from the special committee’s effort at contributing to tackling the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the NAPHARM/NGE special committee of COVID-19 has as its key officers: Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi (chairman), Mr Azubuike Ishiekwene (co-chairman) and Mary Atolagbe (publicity secretary).
Others are Pharm Chioma Ogbu (secretary) and Pharm Busayo Abolarin (assistant secretary). Dr Lolu Ojo, NAPHARM director of programmes, will serve as director of organisation on the committee.