The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Ogun Chapter has disclosed plans to educate secondary schools’ students on the dangers of drug abuse in the state.
In a statement on Monday in Abeokuta, the Chairman of PSN, Adewale Adenugba said it was part of the association’s activities marking the 2023 World Pharmacist Day.
He added that the association would reach out to the Nigeria Correctional Service, orphanage homes, and also give out medications to some communities lacking basic amenities.
According to him, this year’s celebration with the theme: “Pharmacy, Strengthening Health Systems’’ is apt as practitioners need to recognise their roles in improving global health.
“In recognition of the crucial roles pharmacists play in healthcare administration and promotion, for the 2023 celebration we intend to carry out medical outreaches to key communities in the state.
“The association will carry out basic necessary investigations, health education and donation of medications in those communities.
“We would also be visiting the Nigeria Correctional Service and orphanages within the state to show our empathy and support.
“Some of our secondary schools will also be visited for health talk on drug abuse and addiction and of course engagement with the media for continuous education of the populace,” Adenugba said.
According to him, the purpose of celebrating the day is to acknowledge the efforts of pharmacists while also demanding better working conditions and appropriate recognition for the profession.
Adenugba contended that pharmacists remained the most accessible healthcare professionals in most communities, presenting available and affordable healthcare solutions to the populace and improving health standards across the country.
He, however, urged that, as experts on medicine, pharmacists should be allowed to prescribe and initiate medications.
The chairman stressed the need for Nigeria to move towards this direction as it had been proven in more advanced nations “if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal SDG-3 of the United Nations on Access to Essential Health Services”.
Adenugba said: “In most communities, community pharmacy practice is a life-saving stronghold.
“This sector of the profession strengthens healthcare through providing advice, information and education, triage, screening/testing and referral, administering vaccinations, prescription review, reducing polymedication and medication follow-up to residents.
“However, there is still a wide range of other needs that can be met by community pharmacists in Nigeria, which would relieve pressure on and save time for other areas of the health system.
“Pharmacists also have the skills to take on the management of patients with long-term conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and HIV and many community pharmacists have shown tremendous success in this regard.”