Dr. Stanley Emegwara, the new Chairman of the Imo chapter of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), has expressed concern over the low number of pharmacists in the country.
Emegwara made the remark in an interview with newsmen in Owerri, shortly after he emerged as chairman in an election held on Wednesday as part of the activities to mark this year’s World Pharmacist Day.
He said that with a population of almost 200 million people, Nigeria needed more hands to address its health needs.
He said that the low number of pharmacists posed a major challenge in addressing the menace of quackery in the country.
He, however, gave assurance that the society under his watch would collaborate with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to stamp out quackery.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s celebration, “Safe and effective use of medicine: the role of the pharmacist”, Emegwara said that the Imo PSN had embarked on campaigns to educate the public on the proper use of drugs.
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He also said that the group would partner the state government with the aim of providing the best quality health services to the public.
”The ratio of pharmacists to Nigerians is a cause for concern because we have very few pharmacists serving about 200 million Nigerians.
“This is a major challenge in the fight against quackery.
”But we will partner the government, the PCN which is our regulatory body and NAFDAC in order to satisfy the yearnings of Nigerians who are looking up to us for quality health services,” he said.
Also, the new secretary of the body, Mr. Ikenna Mbata, charged the public to go for professional pharmacists rather than quacks.
Mbata said that although some persons complained about the cost of quality services, it was not a good reason to patronise quacks and risk one’s life.
”The pharmacist is the expert in drug administration and the cost of such services can never be too high because we do not charge people for services rendered.
“We only charge for drugs, therefore, the cost is not an excuse for patronising quacks,” Mbata said. He further said that the new leadership of the society would collaborate with the government in order to improve the welfare of pharmacists in the state, as reported by NAN.