By Chioma Umeha
Following an initiative which seeks the rebirth of harmony among the different professionals in the health sector, experts drawn from each of the major health disciplines will brainstorm at a symposium holding at the University of Lagos on May 11.
The symposium is being jointly organised by the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy in partnership with the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and will feature practitioners drawn from medicine, pharmacy, nursing and midwifery, medical laboratory sciences, physiotherapy and other medical professions.
Former Minister of Health, Professor Eyitayo Lambo will deliver the keynote presentation.
According to Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, President of the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy and also a former Minister of Health, “the dire state of healthcare in Nigeria today despite continuing efforts, requires that all professionals in the sector work in harmony to tackle the issues for the good of the country.”
Unfortunately, he lamented, “The poor state of affairs is made even worse by the animosity, distrust and consequently, disharmony among the different professionals in the health sector.”
The most vital resource in the health sector, said Adelusi-Adeluyi, is not the annual budgetary allocation from government, but rather, the sector’s huge human resource endowment.
It is only by building on its strengths which include its diversity, that the health sector can become truly primed to deliver optimal value to Nigeria, he added.
“Here is a sector brimming with enthusiastic and well-trained doctors, pharmacists, nurses, medical scientists, optometrists and other cadres of professionals. If professionals in this sector would cooperate with each other and work as one united team, it would be a big plus for healthcare delivery in our country.”
Adelusi-Adeluyi acknowledged that the mutual animosity among health professionals is not unfounded. “Developments over the years”, he said, had unfortunately helped to pitch the different groups of professionals against each other by perpetuating negative perceptions of each other.
Such negative perceptions had fed fat on anger and divisive statements by the various cadres of professionals, to the detriment of Nigerians who ought to benefit from an optimally functional healthcare industry.
The forthcoming symposium he stated, is only one in a series of activities which the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy is putting together to eradicate or curtail to the barest minimum, the animosity in the health sector and fast-track the emergence of a culture of mutual trust and collaboration among the various professionals.
Incidentally, he says, the project which is a pioneering effort by health experts themselves, has been enthusiastically welcomed by different health professionals, all of whom are uncomfortable with the current state of affairs among the various professionals.
The Nigerian Medical Association, the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives among others have all indicated a willingness to be part of the programme.
Other speakers lined up for the Symposium include Dr. Ebun Sonaiya, a medical doctor and former president of the Guild of Medical Directors, Mr. Jimi Agbaje a pharmacist and frontline politician, Mrs. Sade Modupe Jokotola a veteran nurse as well as Prof. Agbonlahor a leading light of the medical laboratory scientist profession.
Founded in 2014, the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy is one of six specialist academies in Nigeria, the others being the academies of Letters, Arts, Science, Engineering and Education respectively.