Laments brain drain, drug abuse, self-medication
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
As Nigeria joins in commemorating World Pharmacist Day 2020 on Friday, a non-profit making organization, One Love Foundation, OLF, Saturday, called on the Federal Government to sanitize the pharmaceutical industry following numerous challenges plaguing the profession, practice, prescription and patients.
Speaking with Vanguard on the day, the President and Founder of OLF, Chief Patrick Eholor, while felicitating with those in the profession pointed out that there is a lot to be done to take the nation’s pharmaceutical industry to an international standard.
According to Eholor the profession is being tarnished by unwholesome practices perpetrated by some unscrupulous elements who have infiltrated he ranks of genuine practitioners, therefore, have soiled the image of the noble profession.
The World Pharmacists Day is observed each year on 25 September. The World Pharmacists Day is an opportunity to communicate how, together, pharmacists are transforming health through a variety of health services in their communities, including advising on healthy living, vaccinating to prevent disease, and ensuring that medicines are taken correctly.
World Pharmacists Day was initiated by the FIP Council in Istanbul in 2009. 2020 is the 10th World Pharmacists Day. The theme for World Pharmacists Day 2020 is ‘Transforming global health’.
He said: “I congratulate the men and women who are professionals in the area of pharmacy, dispensing medications or drugs.
“It is really unfortunate that Nigeria hasn’t been able to regulate that sensitive industry, whereby a lot of people have suffered and died in their hands prematurely because of some individuals who have no business in that practice.
“Imagine in the 21st century people walk into chemist without prescription and no responsible pharmacist is supposed to attend to anyone who has no doctor prescription but the reverse is the case in this country.”
According to him a lot of pharmacists have killed good Nigerians knowingly or unknowingly and queried that “my question is Nigeria will be 60 by October 1st, and 60 is the retirement age, can we retire Nigeria and start afresh?”
He (Eholor) also accused the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, of failure to adequately sanitise the pharmaceutical industry, as fake drugs and foods are being brought into the country.
“And NAFDAC has also failed us completely, our roads are in the worst state, we have no hospitals, we are short of doctors and nurses and Nigeria is about to enter the Guinness book of records as a country who celebrates 60 years of failure.
“The only way we can save this country now is to re-echo what President Muhammadu Buhari said if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us.
“I therefore suggest as the President of One Love Foundation, life imprisonment for any corrupt civil servant or any military personnel or politician who are stealing our common patrimony.
“ Let Us take a lead from China that is the only way we can salvage this country and don’t forget Nigeria has no institutions, every institution is corrupt and men is the only institution in Nigeria”, he added.