PSN Overdue To Have Research, Development Department –Oyawole

Pharm. Anthony Bola Oyawole  is a presidential candidate of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) in the November 2018 election. Oyawole who is a Fellow, West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists; Fellow, PSN and Fellow, Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy has released 15-point agenda to actualise his dream. In this interview with CHIOMA UMEHA he explains why he wants to lead the noble organisation hence forward. Excerpts:

Why do you want to take over from Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai as president of PSN? 
After rounds of consultations with the rank and file of the PSN membership, I believe I have requisite qualities that can make me consolidate our gains of the last two decades through  an admixture  of positive aggression, confidence, zeal and tactful diplomacy of some of   our  past presidents, which      I   shall   build    on.

What gave you the conviction that you are the man for the presidency of the PSN? 
The  success  story  of  the  last  five  years  are particularly close  to  my heart  as a prominent member of the PSN  ‘War cabinet’ in the immediate last two  dispensations. I was chairman of the Strategy Committee of the PSN in the 2012-2015 era. In this same era, I was chairman of the PSN Constitution Review Committee which produced the present PSN constitution in 2013.

From 2016, I have also anchored the PSN Law and Ethics Committee, in addition to being the Desk  Officer   in  charge  of  Association  of  Professional Bodies  of  Nigeria  (APBN)  which continues to  give me detailed  exposure  to the Presidents  of  all the Professional bodies  in Nigeria. These experiences  have adequately prepared me to steer the ship of the PSN in the foreseeable  future. I must say with a deep sense of responsibility that I have not been double minded  in   my cardinal goal of joining the prestigious league of men of honour who ever led the PSN.

What is your agenda to move the PSN to the next level? 
One of the issues on my agenda is achieving fee-based practice to boost pharmacy practice.

What does actualising fee-based practice entail? 
Our profession continues to grow on numerous fronts. Efforts were made in the past to institutionalise professional stamps and seals which are supposed to be regulatory tools. We shall partner the  Pharmaceutical (PCN) to ensure the stamps  and seals become the epitome of professionalism as it shall be recognised as a tool to earn professional fees like is the case in   Law, Accountancy, Engineering   etc.  The  actuals   in  this   regards  would  be  perfected  under   my Presidency.

Promotion of group/collaborative practice 
Modern day professional practices  and businesses are anchored on mega-structures housing members  of the health team under one mega complex in such settings as seen in Europe, USA and Asia. The pharmacist supplies all drugs and medical consumables to the different professional practices. This in addition will create the much desired harmony in the health team. We must  therefore  begin to orientate  players  in our private  sector  to embrace  new thinking and fresh  ideas  in the quest  to  adopt  global  learnings  moving  forward.  Also, retail, distribution, importation and manufacturing outfits must  contemplate mergers to assume global posture. 
On the flip side, pharmacists because of their training and position in the health team must lead the way in  building needed confidence to collaborate with other care providers in medicine, laboratory sciences, physiotherapy, radiography  and others. 
We must begin to join forces in the private  sector to come up with functional and competence based private health complexes which  will  shift attention to Nigeria for health  needs. The collaborative practice model will drive better participation in our social Health Insurance.

Research and development in practice 
The PSN is certainly overdue for a research and development department at its national secretariat. This will feature data gathering in all areas of practice to allow us influence policy direction at state and federal  government levels. Recent  concerns  on the  menace  of drug misuse  and  abuse  as  well  as  the  response  of  PSN  which  was  commended   by  National Assembly   and   all   stakeholders  because   the   PSN  ‘war  chest’   remained   alive   to   its responsibilities.

In the nearest  future, we should  be able to lead the way in health  planning, emergency response lead time and related ideals with a functional Research and Development Department   at the  PSN                 National Secretariat.

Establishment of the National Postgraduate College  of Pharmacists 
The residency training programme and consultancy cadre for pharmacists in Nigeria is an open invitation to divest the institutional templates available to train personnel for this vital human resource in healthcare in Nigeria. Even when the WAPCP continues to make some progress in the quest for adequate capacity building in the sub-region, a need arises at this juncture to have a training platform approved by an act of parliament  that serves the exclusive national interest that  can  statutorily draw  from  the  annual  budget  of  the  FMOH in post  graduate  trainings currently  enjoyed by doctors  alone.

We will be talking  with the committee of Deans under PCN to fashion the training in line with the current  arguments  of the medical doctors  to enable the    ferent specialists in pharmacy become professors  with      time,      practice, research  and papers      presented

Experienced pharmacists in different specialists of practice will be   encouraged to teach as adjuncts to  enrich              studies  and research              paper.

I will liaise with stakeholders to organise a summit  to re-model the undergraduate curriculum to produce         eight-star personnel         pharmacists in the future.

I will work with ACPN to re-fashion our Community  Pharmacies  to stock veterinary medicines and accessories  which will become      compulsory in the  next 10     years.

Life assurance welfare  scheme

A contributory life assurance  welfare scheme shall be  instituted. The fund  which shall be continually invested  in bonds  and treasury  bills  to ensure its growth  shall be managed  by a Board of Trustees  setup  for this  endeavour. The benefits to the family  or next of kin of any deceased financial member  shall be one million naira or as may be determined from time to time by the Board of Trustees.

Judicial redress of offensive development

The PSN must become a lot more proactive in dealing with situations which amount to clogs in the wheels of progress in the profession. We shall ensure maximal protection of the profession to boost the spirit  of pharmacy jurisprudence.

Construction of PSN property at Victoria Island, Lagos

This property which has suffered hiccups in terms of the execution of agreements for building by developers will be a major priority in the new dispensation as we shall attempt to develop through internally generated revenue. If elected President, I will work with the NEC to complete this               project  before the end of my              tenure. The major  advantage  the Pharmacy  House, Victoria  Island, Lagos project  will  bring  to bear remains  the immense influx  of funds which the society needs very much for stability and consolidation of its various  endeavours          in the years ahead.

The routine programmes

For instance, the annual national conferences had been tinkered within the last few years to make it more impactful. The chaos associated with registration is now better managed through e-line registration. The salient highlights to improve upon include; Bracketisation of the opening ceremony into business and ceremonial spheres. We shall infuse new strategies to make the opening ceremony more compact   and eventful.

The plenary sessions at conferences  have been re-packaged to justify  the credit points allotted to participants for MCPD by PCN. These sessions are hosted in befitting venues and supervised by PCN chieftains. We shall ensure the sessions’ topics revolves around specialisation in practice                     to
Pharm. Anthony Bola Oyawole 
improve professionalism.

The conferences must be structured to showcase the well admired scientific background of pharmacists as poster sessions where abstracts will be displayed become an integral part of the conference.


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