By Chioma Obinna
As Nigeria celebrates 50 years of nationhood, pharmacists under the auspices of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) have urged the ruling class to utilise the occasion of the nation’s 50th independence to lay a foundation for the future.
The pharmacists, who scored the country low in the area of healthcare, with the notion that “it has been indeed a sad story of lamentations on all sides”, urged Nigerians to begin to set a new agenda in nation building.
Speaking in Lagos on this year’s World Pharmacy Day, National President of the PSN, Pharm. Azubuike Okwor said pharmacists are not comfortable with the country’s performance in the health sector.
“Our people expect too little from leadership which is the main reason leaders have always degenerated to the level of dealers. In the build up to 2011, we at PSN have resolved firmly to write all presidential aspirants about their vision and action plan for the pharmaceutical sector in particular and the health industry in general.”
Further, Okwor called on Nigerians to demand for concepts which would guarantee a future for generations of the citizens as well as register for the forthcoming elections.
Speaking on areas the country failed, he said there had been “persistent and utter breaches of the National Drug Policy protocols aided by extreme benevolence of government to infiltrators, outright partisanship to favoured professionals.”
He said these interferences have made it impossible to meet most objectives and targets of the drug policy. and pointed out striking targets the country has failed to meet to include; entrenchment of a rational and properly structured drug distribution system in the private sector by 2008, and availability of adequate drug storage conditions in 80 per cent of the public and private health care facilities by 2008.
He said as part of activities to reposition the pharmaceutical sector, the PSN will soon launch a national drug dispensing software with the international pharmaceutical federation (FIP) endorsed pictogram to enable those not very literate to understand how to take their medication.
On the World Pharmacy Day with the theme; “Safety First with Medicines, Ask your Pharmacist”, Okwor said modern medicines have changed management of diseases, as safety monitoring of medicines is now an integral part of clinical care. To promote safe use of medicines, the PSN presented a Safe Medicines speaking Book courtesy Pfizer International.