Pharmacists Visit Nasarawa Health Commissioner, urge Prevention against Corona Virus

Pharmacists Visit Nasarawa Health Commissioner, urge Prevention against Corona Virus

 Pharmacists under the aegis of the Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN) last week paid a courtesy visit to the newly appointed Commissioner for Health of Nasarawa State, Honourable Pharm. Ahmed Baba Yahaya in his office in Lafia town. The delegation was led by the AHAPN National Chairman, Dr. Kingsley Chiedu Amibor.  They were well received by the Honourable Commissioner and his team comprising the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mallam Ishaku Abari, Director of Administration and Supplies Alhaji Jibrin Umar, Director of Medical Services, Dr. Haruna Ekom, Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Pharm Haruna Wakil, Director of Nursing Services Hajia Ishadja Osharfu, Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Paulina Wahe and the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ministry, Mr. Musa Abdullahi. 

In his opening speech, the National Chairman, Dr. Amibor thanked the Honourable Commissioner who is himself a pharmacist, for receiving him and his team at short notice. He commended the Honourable Commissioner for his support to the pharmacy profession, even before his appointment as Commissioner. He appreciated the Nasarawa State Government for appointing one of their own as Honourable Commissioner for Health, at the same time promising the government that they will not regret their decision, based on the antecedents of Pharm. Baba Yayaha. According to Dr. Amibor, Pharm. Ahmed Baba Yaya is highly competent to occupy the office of Honourable Commissioner for Health by virtue of his versatile training including being a Consultant Pharmacist and Fellow of the West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacists (FPCPharm). He also noted that Pharm Ahmed Baba Yahaya is diligent, sociable, hardworking, loyal, committed, amiable, dedicated and an excellent manager of men and resources, qualities that no doubt endeared him to the governor.

Thereafter, Dr. Amibor rolled out series of requests to the Honourable Commissioner, beginning with sponsorship of Nasarawa based pharmacists to residency training of the West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacists (WAPCP) and various other post graduate programmes such as masters and the doctor of philosophy (PhD) degrees. The National Chairman equally urged the state government to recognize the already qualified consultant pharmacists in the state and pay them specialist allowance commensurate with their training, as is the case in some states of the federation. 

The national chairman seized the opportunity to intimate the Honourable Commissioner and his team of the paradigm shift in pharmacy practice globally towards pharmaceutical care, which he said is the responsible provision of drug therapy in order to achieve definite outcomes that help improve and maintain the quality of life of patients. He added that since inception, pharmaceutical care has helped to save lots of lives from adverse drug reactions and drug therapy problems, while improving the quality of lives of patients. Dr. Amibor then urged the state government to urgently employ additional pharmacists to man the various hospitals in the state and ensure that citizens of Nasarawa state derive maximum benefits from implementation of pharmaceutical care by pharmacists. Dr. Amibor seized the opportunity to invite the Honourable Commissioner to grace this year’s 22nd Annual National Scientific Conference of the Association, billed to hold in Ilorin, Kwara State in July, 2020. 

While commenting on the current scourge of the Corona Virus that is ravaging the world, Dr. Amibor who is also a public health expert, urged citizens of Nasarawa State to embrace precautionary measures such as regular hand washing with water and soap to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. He urged the state government to support pharmacists in the state to produce hand sanitizers for use by residents to reduce the spread of the virus. The National Chairman challenged healthcare workers to observe universal safety precautions while dealing with patients, especially those suspected of having contracted the virus.

In his response, the Honourable Commissioner welcomed Dr. Amibor and his team to Nasarawa State, and thanked him for making out time to visit him despite his tight schedule. The Honourable Commissioner was full of praises to His Excellency the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Eng. Abdullahi Sule for his appointment as a Commissioner with the state government. He urged pharmacists to go into politics, because that is where decisions governing practice are taken, adding that the number of pharmacists currently engaged in politics is insignificant.

The Honourable Commissioner supported the adoption of pharmaceutical care as the new philosophy of practice of Pharmacy in Nigeria, stating that pharmaceutical care has come to stay. He equally made mention of the fact that His Excellency, the Governor of the state is a promoter of harmony in the healthcare sector, for the overall best interest of patients. He said there is need to upgrade other cadres of the healthcare sector like pharmacists, nurses and medical laboratory scientists to consultant level so that together, they all can take healthcare to a higher level as is the practice in other parts of the world.. 

Honourable Yahaya then challenged the Association (AHAPN) to intensify campaigns against Drug and Substance Abuse which is on the increase in Nasarawa State. He urged the National Chairman to use his good office to ensure that Nasarawa State hosts next year’s annual national scientific conference of the Association, which he said the state has not been privileged to host once. Other pharmacists that accompanied the National Chairman on the visit were the National Assistant Secretary of AHAPN, Pharm. Gabriel Akelikwunu FPCPharm, Nasarawa State Chairman of AHAPN, Pharm. Augustine Luka, the state director of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria Pharm Nwora Opaleke, Treasurer of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Nasarawa State Branch, Pharm. Rinfa Ponti, Vice Chairman, AHAPN Nasarawa State, Pharm Raji Abdulfatai, the Secretary Pharm John Emmanuel and several others. 

Dr. Amibor and his team had earlier visited the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi equally in Nasarawa State, where he met with the Director of Pharmaceutical Services of the Hospital, Pharm Sabiu Adamu

Pharm. Gabriel Akelikwunu FPCPharm

Assistant National SecretaryAHAPN