Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAPHARM) has called for integration of pharmacists into the country’s primary healthcare system.
At the investiture of the new fellows in Lagos, president of NAPHARM, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, said that the newly inducted pharmacists, though drawn from a diverse array of disciplines, are united by the quest to propel mankind to new frontiers of wellness and good health, on the back of pharmacy and the pharmaceutical sciences.
Fifteen new fellows and 10 life fellows were admitted into the academy at the event. They included notable teachers, researchers and industry practitioners.
Adelusi-Adeluyi said that one of the bedrocks of the Academy is using pharmaceutical research and development to break new grounds in human progress for which it employs “strategic advocacy and other means to increase government and societal support for scientific research and pharmaceutical research in particular.”
He said that in fulfilling the academy’s objective of ensuring that training of pharmacists in Nigeria continuously embodies global best practices, it is particularly interested in the study and teaching of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences and continues to make inputs in these critical areas, in conjunction with Deans of Nigeria’s Pharmacy Schools, the National Universities Commission and the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria.
Speaking on the imperative of expanding the roles of pharmacists in the area of primary healthcare, president of the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas, Dr Theresa Pounds, decried Nigeria’s dismal health indices, saying redressing some of the gaps in the country’s primary healthcare regime could help Nigeria to radically enhance these indices.
Pounds added that pharmacists are not only highly-trained, and often at huge cost to the state, but that in addition are the most accessible healthcare provider to the patient.
“Nigeria’s primary healthcare regime would benefit considerably, if pharmacists are increasingly integrated into the primary healthcare system,” she said.
Drawing from her experience in other parts of the world, she added that community pharmacies could assist with such initiatives as vaccinations, family planning, health education, among many others, in so doing, complementing the efforts of other healthcare providers and institutions, many of which are over-stretched, in bringing healthcare to the doorsteps of Nigerians.
Speaking further, Pounds noted that many developed countries have continued to optimize the evolution of the roles of pharmacists with attendant benefits to their people as reflected in their health indices.
Speaking in a similar vein, president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, commended the steady progress that continues to be recorded in the area of pharmacists becoming more integral to the country’s primary healthcare regime adding that more needed to be done.