By Chioma Umeha
The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy is now in the final stages, preparatory to the investiture of six distinguished professionals into its esteemed ranks.
According to Professor Fola Tayo, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of Caleb University who doubles as General Secretary of the Academy, one of the high points of this year’s investiture event will be a feature presentation by Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr. Christopher Kolade.
Tayo said: “We have every confidence that Dr. Kolade will ignite robust self-appraisal in the profession with his lecture which will examine the place of Pharmacy in the enhancement of quality and accessibility of healthcare in Nigeria.”
He also said that the investiture event, billed for September 15 in Lagos, will also assess progress so far made regarding the Pharmacy degree curriculum reviews currently ongoing across Faculties of Pharmacy in Nigeria’s universities.
“Globally, the curriculum for Pharmacy training is rapidly evolving in response to the growing needs of the larger society and we want to ensure that this is happening at the right pace in Nigeria too, such that the health and wellbeing of Nigerians can continue to be impacted optimally by Nigeria’s pharmacists working in tandem with other health professionals.”
The Academy, Tayo said, “is of the view that emphasis on research and development in the sciences in general and pharmaceutical and health sciences in particular, has waned considerably in Nigeria, and believe that this can only spell disaster for a developing country like ours.”
Funding of research by government is poor while the private sector hardly sees the need to fund research. This, he said, is not good for the country, as the only way by which better remedies can be discovered and developed for ailments that afflict mankind, including those, like malaria that are particularly endemic in Africa and kill millions annually, is by research and development.
“The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy is therefore driving advocacy to raise awareness in this area in order to prod government to better fund research and scientific education in general, as well as encourage wealthy individuals and charitable foundations to sponsor scientific research,” he added.
The new inductees into the Academy, Tayo said, all have sterling profiles and have distinguished themselves over the years, in different spheres of professional life.
Her words: “We are very confident that they will add real value to our quest to positively impact the health and wellbeing of Nigerians, not only through robust training of pharmacists and pharmaceutical and health scientists but also through research and research-oriented learning and development.”
The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy brings together distinguished pharmacists across different spheres of life and helps to drive thought leadership, providing expert opinion on matters pertaining to the pharmacy profession. In so doing, it helps to ensure that the profession remains relevant to the needs and aspirations of Nigeria.
Founded in 2014, it is the fifth such specialized academy in Nigeria with others being the academies of Science, Letters, Arts and Engineering, respectively.