Mon, 15 Apr 2024

 

 Accolades as PSN holds its 95th annual conference in grand style
 
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Sat, 26 Nov 2022   ||   Nigeria,
 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), under the leadership of Pharm. (Prof.) Cyril Odianose Usifoh, has recorded a thunderous applause for the epoch-making opening ceremony of her 95th Annual Conference, held in Jos, Plateau state.
The event, which started at 9:00 am on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, with the theme; “Medicine Security in an Unstable Economy,” had numerous dignitaries from the health, political, military, and other relevant sectors, in attendance.
Declaring the meeting open, the governor of Plateau state, Rt Hon. (Barr.) Simon Bako Lalong, KSDG, CON, who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Sonny Gwanle Tyoden, expressed surprise and satisfaction over the deluge of participants who graced the occasion.

Plateau State Deputy Governor, Prof. Sonny Gwanle Tyoden
“I have attended several events in this hall but had never seen it this full. This is indeed your show of confidence in the government that peace has come to stay on the Plateau. For those coming into the state for the first time, please enjoy your stay,” he said.
The former Vice Chancellor, University of Jos, commended the president of the PSN, noting that he has recorded lots of achievements in just one year, while noting that Prof. Usifoh is passionate about Pharmacy profession and the healthcare delivery in Nigeria.
In his remark, Prof. Cyril Usifoh, the PSN’s president, while thanking the Federal Government—the Executive and the Legislature—especially the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for its roles in ensuring that the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria Act 2022 sees the light of the day, noted that the Act has answer to the myriads of challenges bedeviling medicine security in the country.

PSN President, Prof. Cyril Usifoh
“I want to thank the Federal Government, especially President Muhammadu Buhari, for assenting to the Pharmacy Bill. I find it imperative to call on the presidency and other arms of government that the Bill has the propensity to restore normalcy to our indecorous drug distribution challenge, which has made Nigeria popular for fake drug syndrome,” he said.
While noting the dangers of the brain drain hitting the health sector, just as other sectors, he tasked the government, as well as the presidential aspirants to make the nation conducive for professionals, in order to avoid the impending doom, if no action is taken.
He said “Sir, our Honourable Minister of Health, we want you to look at this; because, if we continue to lose members of the health sector, at an alarming rate, not only pharmacists, but also physicians, nurses and the rest, then the country will be in serious trouble in the next few years. We must make the environment conducive for people to practice their profession.
“Perhaps, I must utilize this course to challenge the presidential aspirants of various political parties to begin to look at how to fast-track substantial investment in health sector. The pharmaceutical sector offers the biggest prospect in this regard.”
In his response, the Minister of Health, Prof. Ehanire Osagie, assured pharmacists that the government will do all it can to ensure that the country’s pharma sector remains competitive in Africa and the world.
While thanking Prof. Usifoh and pharmacists for the image they have given Nigeria, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, globally, the minister, who spoke through Prof. Pokop Bupwatda, the Chief Medical Director, Jos University Teaching Hospital, charged them to transform the country from a vaccine consuming to a vaccine producing nation.

Prof. Pokop Bupwatda, the Chief Medical Director, Jos University Teaching Hospital
The special guest of honour and Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd), who spoke through the secretary of the agency, Barr. Shadrach Usman Haruna, stressed that both the theme and the subtheme of the conference were apt, as he spoke on the subtheme, “Stemming the Misuse and Abuse of Essential Medicines in a Depressed Economy”.

NDLEA Secretary, Barr. Shadrach Usman Haruna
In his speech, he noted that about 14 million Nigerians between ages of 15 and 65 are reportedly involved in drug abuse, while the most culpable age group is between 25 and 39.
While calling on pharmacists and other stakeholders to join the fight against drug abuse, he maintained that drug abuse attracts numerous consequences, including death, as about half a million lost their lives for the social vice in 2019.
Meanwhile, Prof. Usifoh expressed unreserved gratitude and appreciation to Brig. Marwa, for accepting to work with the PSN.
The Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Pharm. (Prof.) Mojisola Adeyeye, who spoke through the Director, Pharmaco-Vigilance and Post-Marketing Surveillance of the NAFDAC, stated that medicine security implies that people have access to quality drugs, despite their sociocultural bounds; she noted that the agency implements that to the letter.

Director, Pharmaco-Vigilance and Post-Marketing Surveillance of the NAFDAC
The Keynote speaker, who is the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Pharm. (Dr) Obi Peter Adigwe, noted that the country should focus on developing the sectors where it has comparative advantage in rather than wasting her scarce resources on other areas that are far from her reach, stating that the country is far ahead of other African countries in drugs and pharmaceuticals’ manufacturing.

Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Pharm. (Dr) Obi Peter Adigwe
He further proposed for the setting up of Presidential Task Force on Pharma and Allied Sector Development (PTFPASD), adding that it is the resolution of Nigerian pharmacists.
The Director General, Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency, Pharm. (Dr) Samuel Oghene Etatuvie, who was represented by his Technical Adviser on Research, Planning and Innovation, Pharm. Daniel Suwe, stressed that pharmacists need to come into the business of natural medicine, as the agency has perfected the plans of working with pharmacists, adding that over 60% of the practitioners, at present, are not pharmacists.

Technical Adviser on Research, Planning and Innovation, Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency, Pharm. Daniel Suwe
The Vice President, International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and President, African Pharmaceutical Forum (APF), Dr Prosper Hiag, while thanking Prof. Usifoh, for inviting him to the conference, noted that the PSN is a pillar of support to the APF.