Sat, 20 Jul 2024


Top Female Pharmacists in Nigeria (Photos)
From: CEOAFRICA REPORTER: Boluwatife Oparinde
Tue, 7 May 2024   ||   Nigeria,

Women across the world, are breaking barriers and overcoming obstacles in leadership roles, science and technology, engineering, education, healthcare, and so on. No more can it be said that females are behind when it comes to successes or achievements of great feats across the globe. The world of pharmacy has enjoyed huge friendly attractions of women as well as remarkable contributions. This may not be unconnected to the historicity of the apothecary business where women were involved because while some of them were skilled in making medicinal home remedies, and served as midwives and feminine care agents in situations that could not be handled by men, others were trained as apothecaries. As such, pharmacy has been regarded as a female-friendly profession and is female-dominated according to research.

Notably, Miss Ore Green, born Oreoluwa Green, was the first female Pharmacist in West Africa and Distinguished Professor Cecilia Ihuoma Igwilo, OON, was the first female to be appointed as a Professor of pharmacy in Nigeria and West Africa. CEOAFRICA gathers a list (in no order) of female leading Nigerian pharmacists who have impacted immensely beyond the growth of the pharmaceutical industry to national development.

Professor Chinedum Peace Babalola

Professor Babalola is renowned for her numerous exploits in the pharmacy profession. She is one of 10 most influential female scientists in Nigeria. She was selected as the only African member, Strategy Working Group (SWG), joint Committee of International Council for Science (ICSU) and International Social Science Council (ISSC) in France. Currently, she serves as the Vice Chancellor of Chrisland University, Ogun State, being the first Nigerian Lady Pharmacist to emerge Vice-Chancellor.

Nee Anyabuike, Babalola is a Pharmacist and Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry/Pharmacokinetics, University of Ibadan (UI). Known as a “woman of many firsts” because of her pioneering and remarkable achievements in her career, she became a registered pharmacist in 1984, she was one of the first few women to become a professor of Pharmacy in Nigeria. She was the first female Professor of Pharmacy at the University of Ibadan. She was the first female dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan. She was the first female Director of Studies for the University of Ibadan. She was the first female pharmacist inducted as Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science – the highest scientific award in Nigeria. She was also the first female Nigerian inducted as Fellow of African Academy of Sciences. Professor Babalola is a MacArthur grant fellow who pioneered the Centre for Drug Discovery, Development and Production (CDDDP), an initiative envisioned to build capacity for Africans to manufacture and regulate medicines. She was twice selected as one of the 10 most influential female scientists in Nigeria and has received several awards including the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Regional Prize for Scientific Excellence.

Babalola was announced the winner of the 2018 Annual May & Baker Professional Service Award in Pharmacy during the opening ceremony of the 91st Annual National PSN Conference on 30 October, 2018, held at the International Conference Centre, Ibadan, Oyo State, and witnessed by several distinguished pharmacists and guests at the colourful occasion. With the inclusion of this prestigious award, she has successfully stamped her name in the league of May & Baker Professional Service Award winners in Nigeria. Also in 2018, she was named by Silverbird TV as one of the 16 prominent Nigerian women who have excelled in Science and Research. On Thursday 3rd October 2019, she received the first ever Gold Award of Excellence on quality health care at the main auditorium of Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Osun State. Furthermore, she was one of the recipients of the prestigious African Union Kwame Nkrumah Regional Awards for Scientific Excellence Programme, 2019 Edition in recognition of Professor Babalola's numerous contributions to development in Africa through her groundbreaking and award-winning research works. The award which came with a prize of USD20,000, was presented at the African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government, which took place on 10 February 2020, in Addis Ababa. She was last year inducted as a Fellow of the Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria (IPAN).

Babalola has delivered many lectures at international events and conferences with recent ones being at a high-level stakeholder meeting organised by African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation (APTF) held in Abuja. She is also among world professionals who spoke at the International Conference on Innovation, Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer in Africa’s Pharmaceutical Sector in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Prof Christianah Adeyeye

Professor Christianah Adeyeye is currently the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). She is a Professor of Pharmaceutics, Manufacturing Science and Drug Product Evaluation at the College of Pharmacy, Roosevelt University in Schaumburg, Illinois. Adeyeye was the founding Chair of Biopharmaceutical Sciences before she was appointed NAFDAC boss. She has mentored over 15 PhD and M.S candidates. She has patents, 55 peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters and books and more than 140 scientific presentations. She is the founder of Drugs for AIDS and HIV patients, a non-profit organization committed to the prevention, education, care, and treatment of HIV/AIDS children in Nigeria.

She is a Fellow of Nigeria Academy of Science, Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy, an Academic Research Fellow of American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). She is the First African Woman Fellow, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) a society where only 3% of academia receives such recognition internationally. Professor Adeyeye leads NAFDAC in strengthening of the Food industry in the Agency through emphasis on Food Safety, evidence-based Chemicals and Pesticides Management. She inaugurated Nigerian Herbal Medicine Product Committee (HMPC) as a means of fostering research involving herbal practitioners and academic researchers while the intellectual property is protected, to the end of turning complementary alternative medicines into research-driven, regulation-controlled commercially viable commodities.

Pharm. Stella Chinyeru Okoli, FPSN, OON

Dr. Stella Chinyelu Okoli has over 27 years of experience as a practicing and manufacturing pharmacist. She is the founder and current Chief Executive Officer of Emzor. After working for different organisations, in January 1977, Okoli established Emzor Pharmaceutical under the name “Emzor Chemists Limited” as a small pharmacy in Somolu, Lagos State. Over time, Emzor Pharmaceutical has become one of Nigeria’s leading pharmaceutical companies, manufacturing medicines locally to make healthcare products more affordable in Nigeria.

Stella Okoli has served in various capacities with outstanding achievements. Nnamdi Azikiwe College, Awka, awarded her an honorary doctorate in business administration in 2011, and the following year, she was honoured as a Women of Distinction and Lifetime Achiever at the This Day Annual Awards. In 2016, she was named Businessperson of the Year at the Sun Newspaper Awards. In 2017, she received the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum, and also the Silverbird Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018. In recognition for her achievements and contributions to the health sector in Nigeria, Stella was bestowed with the Member of the Order of the Niger Award. She is also a recipient of the ECOWAS International Gold Award. Dr Stella Chinyelu Okoli also won the Leadership Awards as the CEO Of the Year 2023.

Dr. (Mrs.) Ajoritsedere Awosika, MFR

Dr. (Mrs) Dere Josephine Awosika (MFR, mni) is an evidence-based administrator, and a bureaucrat. She is an accomplished administrator with over three decades of experience in public sector governance. She was at various times, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministries of Internal Affairs, Science & Technology and Power. She is a Fellow West Africa Postgraduate College of Pharmacy, Fellow Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria; Fellow, the National Institute of Directors; Member, Great Britain Clinical Pharmacists Forum. She is an alumnus of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).

Dr. Awosika is the pioneer National Coordinator/Chief Executive of the National Programme on Immunisation; Director (Parastatals) Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation; Director (Department of Community Relations & Youth Development) in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior; Permanent Secretary, Career Management Office, in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science & Technology; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power. In recognition of her outstanding services to the nation, she was conferred a national honour of Member of the Federal Republic (MFR).

Mrs Clare Omatseye

Clare Omatseye is a seasoned pharmacist with about 24 years of pharmaceutical, public health, and medical device experience in retail and hospital pharmacy, sales, marketing, regulatory affairs, product management, public health, international marketing, strategic business development, entrepreneurship, and strategic management. Besides the many capacities she has served, Omatseye is the Founder and Managing Director of the International Award-winning company, JNC International Limited (JNCI); the Chairman/ Founder of Vaccipharm Limited; the Vice President of the African Healthcare Federation (AHF).

She is an avid advocate for Healthcare Reform and has played a major role in influencing Public Health Policies bringing her vast over 32 years of seasoned experience in Healthcare Visioning, Management and Corporate Direction setting, driving the identification of market development and growth opportunities in healthcare, among others. She offers her time to activities that promote the improvement of Healthcare Standards as well as Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria and the need to adopt Global Best Practices and build Sustainable Partnerships.

She is a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), a Fellow of the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (FNAP), Honorary Fellow of the West African College of Surgeons (FWACS); (and only pharmacist to receive this honour), a Senior Fellow of the Nigerian Leadership Academy (NLI) and a Fellow of the Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria (SCGN) and Fellow of Aspen’s African Leadership Initiative West Africa (ALIWA). She sits on the Board of several reputable organizations as an Independent Director of the renowned Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), Beta Glass Nig Plc, and is a Member of the Governing Council, Pan Atlantic University (PAU), and two NGO’s, LEAP Africa and ACT Foundation (of Access Bank PLC).

Pharm (Mrs) Bukky George, FPSN

Bukky George is the Founder & CEO of HealthPlus Limited, Nigeria’s first integrative pharmacy, the fastest-growing pharmacy & beauty chain in West Africa. She is a registered member of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, and a member of the General Pharmaceutical Council (UK), and well-regarded for her leadership in entrepreneurship, retail, and the pharmaceutical industry. Over the past 21 years, the company she founded has grown to over 90 retail outlets, with a central distribution centre and employs over 850 associates. HealthPlus is a multi-award winner for excellence and community service. In 2017, it gained a new partnership with a London-based private equity manager Alta Semper Capital which invested US$18 million into the company. With that, the investment in HealthPlus marked the firm’s second investment into the healthcare sector in Africa and its first investment in Nigeria, after its investment into Macro Pharmaceuticals in Egypt in 2017.

Pharm. (Prof.) Femi Oyewo Mbang Nkem, FPSN, MFR

Professor Femi Oyewo studied Pharmacy at the then-University of Ife in 1976. A Professor of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical technology, she was a former Senior Lecturer at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). A winner of many international and national awards, including Member of the Federal republic (MFR), Prof. Oyewo is a woman with many pioneering achievements which includes, being the pioneer Dean Faculty of Pharmacy, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, making her the first female-pioneer Dean in a Nigerian University; the first female Nigerian trained Pharmacist to bag her Ph.D within a record-breaking time of 18months; the First Female to Head PSN Board of Fellows. She was the first female Deputy Vice-Chancellor, at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye and in the pharmacy profession. Prof. Femi-Oyewo is a Fellow of West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists, Member, of the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria and an editorial consultant to many journals and has published in leading high impact journals. She is a member of Senate of Olabisi Onabanjo University and an external examiner on Pharmaceuticals and Pharmaceutical Technology.

Dr. Margaret Ilomuanya

Dr. Margaret Ilomuanya, an Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos. Ilomuanya is a principal investigator on international and national grants with over 80 peer reviewed publications. She recently received a prestigious grant alongside 10 other Africans from the Grand Challenges Africa (GC Africa) initiative for groundbreaking research projects and innovative proposals that aim to address some of the pressing challenges in health and agriculture in Africa. She won a Forgarty International NIH grant to develop organogels for delivery of HIV microbicides. She has also mentored over 20 undergraduate and Masters level students and currently has 4 PhD students. She has over 18 publications and has managed 2 research grants. She is a member of Nigerian Association of Pharmacist in Academia, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and American Association of Pharmaceutical scientist.The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Lagos State Branch will decorate her with Merit Award (MAW) of the Society at their conference on May 12, 2024.

Dr Monica Hemben Eumunfeze

Dr. Monica Hemben Eimunjeze held key positions, such as Director of Drug Registration and Regulatory Affairs and director of Drug Evaluation and Research at the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) with responsibility for driving policy implementation across the regulatory system instituting regulatory reforms and strengthening the regulatory system. Eimunjeze had also worked in several capacities including Technical Assistant to Director General of NAFDAC, Director, Registration and Regulatory Affairs, Director, Drug Evaluation and Research She was appointed acting DG in 2012. Dr Eimunjeze has varied experience in the pharmaceutical sector spanning different areas of practice. Her expertise spans policy formulation, regulatory affairs, compliance, supply chain security, regulatory harmonisation, regulatory systems strengthening, and Quality Management System (QMS) implementation. She has actively contributed to transformative regulatory reform initiatives aimed at enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the regulatory framework in Nigeria. Dr Eimunjeze is a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria.

Pharm. Yetunde Morohundiya

Pharm. (Chief) Yetunde Morohundiya is the Chief Executive Officer, Moray Pharmacy Ltd, Ikeja, Lagos, and new vice-chairman, Board of Fellows of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (BOF-PSN). She has a very rich experience of working for the progress of the pharmacy profession in Nigeria as she has over the years, served the PSN national, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), BOF-PSN, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Association of Lady Pharmacists (ALPs), National Association of Pharmacists in Academia (NAPA), Christian Pharmacists’ Fellowship of Nigeria and Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy, in different capacities. Morohundiya began her active participation in organised pharmacy activities through the platform of Association of Lady Pharmacists (ALPs), where she functioned as Chairman, Lagos State Branch (2003-2005) and thereafter became the National Publicity Secretary, ALPs (2005 -2008). She became ALPs’ National Chairman in 2009, a position she occupied for four years. Since then, she has represented the group at various PSN fora. She was an adviser to ALPs National Conference Planning Committee on “Eko 2022”.


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