The gathering of the Nigeria Association of Pharmacists in Academia (NAPA) for the 20th Scientific Conference took off on a good note as academic pharmacists met to discuss the need for re-engineering and integrating new technological tools in pharmacy as an indispensible discipline in medical science.
The annual conference which took place in the Faculty of Pharmacy, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State from15th – 19th August, 2022, was themed: “Pharmacy Education, Research and Practice, Revisiting the Basics has intellectual dignitaries in attendance to contribute robustly to the scientific body of knowledge.
In his welcome address, the National Chairman of the Association, Dr. E. O. Akinkunmi emphasized the need for pharmacy education to develop new paradigms of research and practices that will address issues in all sectors of the society.
The Chief Host of the conference, Prof. Adebayo Bamire, Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, ably represented by Prof. A.O Yewande elatedly welcome guests and participants, commending all for making out time for the conference despite the prevailing challenges currently confronting the universities. “There is no other time for such conference because of what is happening in the education sector at the moment. There is the need for academic engagement to learn more even in the face of crisis.” He said.
He also extolled the organisers of the conference for their resilient spirit to see that the conference holds. Prof. Adebayo Bamire went further to harp on the wonders the unity of purpose can bring when the academia work together, stressing that academia and scientific are inter related.
The Keynote Speaker of the conference, Prof. Chinedum Babalola, Vice Chancellor, Chrisland University, addressing the delegates on the conference theme, stressed the imperative need for technological innovation in the teaching of pharmacy as a discipline, which she said obtains in pharmacy schools abroad.
She defined pharmacy as product and patients’ base; and also a science and profession or skill. Challenging pharmacists in academia to brace up for technological revolution to make learning simple and easy , against the culture of complexity in what they teach. “It is therefore in our best interest to train our students on the best way so that they can do something differently; and compete favourably globally.” Babalola stated.
The professor of pharmacy reminded participants that change is constant; hence, they should be dynamic to the basics in their approach to teaching with innovations and modern technology and possibly raise their students with integrated learning curricula.This she said could help to raise ‘Pharmapreneuership’ which implies that graduating students are equipped to start off their enterprise to become self employed.
In the quest for knowledge acquisition and sharing, she opined the need for paradigm shift which she said necessitates for regional partnership across Africa as it currently obtains with big multinationals.
Commenting about the scientific conference, Prof. M. O Afolabi, Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, OAU qualified the conference as one that is very necessary because the gathering is to discuss research findings, and exchange ideas toward the practice of pharmacy and research activities. Prof. Afolabi described the keynote address by Prof. Peace Babalola as illuminating and educative as it relics on the basics and fundamental issues to the teaching of pharmacy in innovative and creative ways.
Dr B.J Taiwo, Chairman, Local Organising Committee of the conference, while thanking God and of course every participant for their unflinching supports, described the conference as a worthwhile summit that respite on the basics as themed: Pharmacy Education, Research and Practice, Revisiting the Basics which he said is all encompassing as it touches on pharmacy education.
Also present at the 20th Scientific Conference is the President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, (PSN), Pharm. (Prof.) Cyril Odianose Usifoh. In an interview with CEOAFRICA, he qualified the conference as one needed for repositioning academic pharmacists to the tenet of the profession, and making sure that they produce pharmacists of world class repute that would meet the challenges of the 21st century.
In a chat with the National Chairman of the Association, Dr Ezekiel Olugbenga Akinkunmi, he described the 20th scientific conference as special and unique as it is very informative and innovative of the new global developmental trends aimed at the growth and development of the country. “The academia and intellectuals are the repository of knowledge and information everywhere in the world and no nation can develop and grow beyond the capacity of its intellectuals. That is why we organised a conference like this to bring out a communiqué to help grow the nation.” He stated.
The conference which ended on a good note had the keynote speaker, Prof. Babalola given an award for excellent delivery of the keynote address. Prof. Cyril Odianose Usifoh was also recognised with an award of great ambassador per excellent of the Nigeria Association of Pharmacists in Academia (NAPA). Others awardees include Pharm. Ibrahim Baba Shehu Ahmed who is the current Registrar of the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria. He revealed to CEOAFRICA that Nigeria Association of Pharmacists in Academia (NAPA) are the “gateway to the pharmacy profession across the country because they groomed us to become what we are today - pharmacists.” Pharm. Ahmed added further that the scientific conference is therefore an avenue for pharmacists to be updated about the latest discoveries based on the research they have made over the time. He exposed that despite the ASUU strike, members of NAPA are still carrying on with the researches because they have vowed to see to the development of the nation.
The National chairman, Association of Industrial Pharmacists, Pharm Ken Oniegbue, commended the Keynote speaker, Professor Chinedum Peace Babalola for excellent delivery,
Pharm Ken condemned the government’s behavior for the ASUU STRIKE which he called “gross level of insensitiveness” to the plight of Nigerians. “this is what actually leads some children to go astray, because it takes a whole lot of sacrifice to hold them together,” he said
Pharm. Olufemi Adebayo, former National Chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria gladly congratulated the organisers of the conference, describing it as one conference that is holding a lot of new knowledge and promises for pharmacists across the country. He lauded the keynote speaker; Prof. Chinedum Babalola as a reputable professor of pharmacy, commending her for the apt and concise lecture aimed at innovative teaching which he said should be the new norm in the school curriculum. He also described the conference as an annual scientific ritual which brings the professionals together to rob minds and exchange ideas for the growth of the profession and its members.
Notable dignitaries present at the conference include former DVC, Obafemi Awolowo University, Emeritus Prof. Adio Ogunbona,
The conference delegates also paid a courtesy visit tothe Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Adebayo Bamire, who expressed his joy and support for the conference that created the opportunity for intellectuals to rob minds on developmental issues for the growth of the pharmacy as a unique discipline.