The association in a statement signed by Pharm Samuel Adekola and Pharm Bose Idowu, National Chairman and Secretary respectively also called for establishment of effective surveillance and policing of pharmacies and health facilities in the country by law enforcement agencies in order to curb persistent attacks on these healthcare facilities that sometimes result in killing of operators.
Citing the recent gruesome murder of its National Publicity Secretary, Late Pharm. Sunday Ike at his pharmacy premises, at Gwarinpa, Abuja, ACPN described attack on its members as worrisome and therefore called on federal and state governments to come to their aid by providing adequate security around pharmacies and other health facilities.
ACPN lamented that the untimely death of Ike which occurred while he was on duty as a frontline health worker rendering pharmaceutical care through interventionist measures aimed at saving other people’s lives. The association however warned if their appeals for security of pharmacies and other health facilities was unheeded, government at all levels may risk a gradual withdrawal of pharmacists and other relevant personnel from the frontline duties of ensuring the wellness, vitality and good health of the nation.
In a special appeal titled ‘Secure Pharmacists and Pharmacy Facilities in Public Interest,’ the ACPN said it was particularly worried because in all the instances where pharmacists on duty have been murdered hitherto before now, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has never fully resolved any case successfully. The ACPN therefore called on President Buhari to direct the Inspector General of Police to identify the criminals with a view to bringing killers of Ike to book.
“With utmost respect to the President and all other apparatus of state security, this is a minimum demand from government to reassure pharmacists and other health workers that government does not take our safety for granted.
“Finally, the ACPN calls on all well-meaning Nigerians, traditional rulers and spiritual leaders to come to the aid of the ACPN in the bid to tackle the escalating menace of attacks on our members as the unrepentant and soulless perpetrators of these acts of brigandage are incentivised by the non-challance of government to provide an ameliorating balm in the face of the odds and adversities community pharmacists continue to face,” the statement said.
The ACPN recalled that among pharmacists killed on duty included late Pharm. Ororo who was killed in the mid-eighties in Benin, Edo State, a community pharmacist killed in Port Harcourt, Rivers State about two years ago.
By Sally Ahmed