Holds 39th scientific conference
By Gabriel Olawale
National Chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, ACPN,Dr. Samuel Adekola has said that for Nigeria’s health indices to improve, adequate recognition must be given to community pharmacists.
Speaking ahead of the association’s 39th National Scientific Conference slated for November 30th to 4th of December, Adekola said that Community Pharmacists plays an active role in the area of preventive medicine at primary healthcare level as 70 per cent of healthcare services are accessible at the community pharmacists level.
“It’s only about 30 per cent that escapes that level are those that need to be a referral or cannot be handle at that level that end up in the hospital.”
He explained that during the COVID-19 outbreak, many hospitals were deserted for fear of infection, “community pharmacists were the only hope many people have to access care for the common cold and some illnesses. So the government also needs to partner with community pharmacists in the area of health promotion because people have trust in them.
While calling for an appropriate legislative framework to give specific roles to Community Pharmacists, Adekola said that since the commencement of the National Health Insurance Scheme in Nigeria, no Community Pharmacists can boost accessing funds for pharmaceutical care. “This fund is embedded in NHIS as there is a certain per cent that supposed to be paid to community pharmacists that dispense drugs, but because these services have not received formal government recognition, no disbursement has been made.
He lamented the challenges of quackery and over-regulation of the sector.”We have so many people who see medicine as an article of trade, forgetting that every medicine is a potential poison. People who have no knowledge about medicine treating drugs as an article of trade.”
Speaking on the theme of the conference, “Optimizing primary healthcare delivery in Nigeria: community pharmacists’ untapped potentials”
Adekola said the PHC is the foundation for all public health intervention by the government and if the country gets it right at that level, health indices will certainly improve.
He listed some of the dignities expected at the conference to includes, President, International Pharmaceutical Federation, Pharm Dominique Jordan; Ekiti State Governor, Dr. John Fayemi; Senate President, Ahmad Lawal; Minister of Health, Dr. Enahire Osaige among others.
The conference will play host to some very distinguished Nigerians as awardees, that include Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN; Executive Governor of Plateau State, Barr. Bako Lalong; Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Past Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, in recognition of their contribution to the development of health care in general and pharmacy in particular in their respective states.