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Extended GAVI Support Not Reason To Rest on Our Oars

Extended GAVI Support Not Reason To Rest on Our Oars

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
Since 2002 Nigeria has been receiving intervention assistance from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI). And as the government strives to overcome regional inequities in vaccine access to save children’s lives and protect people’s health, a number of constraining factors have been the bane of the exercise so far, especially funding. Just recently, it was in the news that Nigeria will not yet graduate from the GAVI Alliance intervention funds until at least ten years from now. This is due to the extension of the ‘expiration term’ of Nigeria so as to enable the country get ready for proper take over. The information that was made public by the honourable Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole was coming at a time the nation is battling to cope with how to bring to an e
NHIS Funds: Universal Health Coverage, Public Malfeasance and the Rest of Us

NHIS Funds: Universal Health Coverage, Public Malfeasance and the Rest of Us

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
In June of 2017 news came filtering in regarding the suspension of the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof Usman Yusuf, and the investigations that followed bore strong allegations of gross misconduct and fraud to the tune of N919m. Subsequently, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole suspended the NHIS boss while investigations by EFCC and ICPC were underway. The Minister’s own panel set up to investigate the said allegations found Yusuf guilty of nepotism and theft of public funds – leading to his suspension together with eight other top officials of the NHIS. From statements coming from official quarters, obviously a lot of malfeasance has for long been going on in that agency under the federal ministry of health, in that there had been a h
Drug Abuse: Need For Community Pharmacists to Complement NAFDAC’s Activities

Drug Abuse: Need For Community Pharmacists to Complement NAFDAC’s Activities

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
It will be stating the obvious to say that drug abuse has attained a new and higher dimension in Nigeria. But recent efforts and achievements of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) clearly testify to the fact of the enormity of the problems on our hands, as well as the agency’s unalloyed resolve to substantially curb this menace. Just recently, among other achievements, and actions carried out by the agency, was the confiscation and destruction of expired drugs, food, cosmetics, as well as expired drinks worth N80 million. Within the same period the agency also in a related development confiscated two truckloads of tramadol - a drug used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. It is pertinent to note that this ‘simple’ medicine works in a manner
The Expediency of Local Drug and Vaccine Production

The Expediency of Local Drug and Vaccine Production

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
Making adequate healthcare available to Nigerians is a major challenge just as almost two-thirds of the population exists below the poverty level. Part of the general objectives of medicine availability as espoused by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) in its last annual conference held in Umuahia, Abia State, is basically to increase locally manufactured medicines. Furthermore, the body of pharmacists aims to achieve about 70 percent local production as against the current 40 per cent of total medicines consumed in Nigeria – working in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health. And this ought to be the spirit. Sometime ago when Nigeria had a Cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM) outbreak in March last year, we had to wait for vaccines to be supplied from overseas while 282 people
Fake Teva Amlodipine and Lisinopril Resurfaces In Nigeria

Fake Teva Amlodipine and Lisinopril Resurfaces In Nigeria

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
•As new NAFDAC DG Promises Hell for Promoters of Counterfeit Medicines There are strong indications that fake Teva Amlodipine and Lisinopril anti-hypertensive medicines have resurfaced in drug markets across the country and this is coming as the new director- general of NAFDAC is sending a strong warning to promoters of counterfeit medicines to desist from their criminal activities or face the consequences. The circulation of fake versions of Teva Amlodipine and Lisinopril became subject of media headlines late 2016 when the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) officials, apparently acting on a tip-off, paid unscheduled visit to a drug market in Lagos and consequently, sealed about 5 shops in connection with un-registered Teva products. The Lagos visit by
Nigeria Pharma Industry: Time to Harvest a Ripe Opportunity

Nigeria Pharma Industry: Time to Harvest a Ripe Opportunity

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
It is no longer news perhaps that the worth of Nigeria’s pharmaceutical industry is a paltry estimate of about $1.3bn - accounting for less than 0.25 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). At least this much was allualded to by Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), at the recently held 90th Annual Conference of the Society in Umuahia, Abia State, last November. This is a rather disturbing picture of a nation as richly endowed as Nigeria, on the premise that Nigeria, assuming the part of a leading light, has as much as over 150 pharmaceutical manufacturers registered! But the country, nay West Africa, and indeed the entire continent are ripe for harvest, and we do not seem to be awake to that great opportunity that beckons. Nigeria therefore nee
As Pharmacists Pre-Registration Exam Begins

As Pharmacists Pre-Registration Exam Begins

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
The bi-annual pre-registration examination for fresh graduate pharmacists intending to apply for full registration with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria began in Nigeria last October. The commencement of the programme has however put paid to speculations that it may not hold after all. Historically, the introduction of pre-registration examination was adopted in PCN’s Pharmacy Education Conference in 2001, and it is meant for fresh pharmacy graduates who have completed the twelve-month mandatory internship prior to seeking full registration to practice pharmacy in Nigeria. The examinations are to hold twice every year - March and October. The objective of the pre-registration examination according to PCN is to ascertain that those who have undertaken the internship programme have acqui
Malaria in Nigeria – Need to Check Mosquito Insecticide Resistance

Malaria in Nigeria – Need to Check Mosquito Insecticide Resistance

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
The recent alarm raised by the Nigeria Medical Research (NIMR) over the discovery that many states in the country are on the verge of witnessing large scale deaths as a consequence of mosquitoes developing resistance to Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets ordinarily should call for concern among authorities in government. NIMR had on June 21, 2017, released a report which indicated that 18 out of the 36 states in the country may have been affected by this latest development. The states where the incidence has been confirmed include Lagos, Ogun and Niger States; these have the highest incidence of resistance cases. Others are Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Benue, Kwara, Nasarawa, Plateau, Anambra, Enugu, Rivers, Ondo, Osun and Oyo - with the status of the remaining states on th...
Pharm. Egbulugha: Before the Stain Endures

Pharm. Egbulugha: Before the Stain Endures

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
To be accused of masterminding a kidnap operation is to be tried, convicted and sentenced, all without the benefit of having your day in court. And even if such allegations are dismissed or unfounded, the stain remains for a long time if not forever. Such is the case with Pharm. Emeka Godson Egbulugha, who was until 12th May, 2017, the superintendent pharmacist working for Maydon Pharmaceuticals Limited, based in Ilupeju area of Lagos. He also doubled as a sales representative for the company. On that fateful day, Emeka was arrested by a team from the Nigeria Police Force on allegation of masterminding the kidnap of his boss, Mr. Donatus Dunu, on the 14th of February, 2017 by unknown gunmen.  Mr. Dunu according to reports had alleged that while in captivity he overheard the voice of Eme
Averting Abuse of Pharmacy License through Investment

Averting Abuse of Pharmacy License through Investment

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
Stakeholders in the pharmacy profession are unanimous in their opinions that abuse of pharmacy license by practitioners remains a major factor militating against the development of the profession in the country. Popular opinion agrees there is the need to confront the challenge using multi-pronged approach such as:  re-orientation of young pharmacists, enforcement of relevant laws by PCN, mandatory capturing of personal data of all members, funding, collaborative efforts by practitioners and the entire stakeholders in the industry, as well as adoption of the whistle blower strategy, etc. Recall that upon graduation from the universities in the 1960’s up to late 1980’s, pharmacists got their dream jobs with minimum effort. But all that changed when the Nigerian economy began to head sout
Time to Stop Abuse of Pharmacy License

Time to Stop Abuse of Pharmacy License

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
Unethical practices have over time been deep-seated in the pharmacy profession - giving rise to a nasty befoulment that has festered to this day. The conduct of a few unscrupulous elements among superintendent pharmacists may further drag the image of the noble profession in the mud if authorities in the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, and indeed stakeholders in the industry do not act fast to stem the ugly situation. The obsession to exchange pharmacy license for money among superintendent pharmacists across the country is currently on the increase, and must be stopped before the integrity of the profession is completely ruined. It is well known that a good number of registered pharmacists collude with pharmaceutical traders most of whom are non professionals, to practice a concept pop
Maximising The Role Of Pharmacists In (Public) Healthcare Service

Maximising The Role Of Pharmacists In (Public) Healthcare Service

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
Pharmacists are medication experts whose eventual aim is to care about the health of their patients and lead them to full recovery. And so the most important goal of pharmaceutical care is to accomplish positive results from the use of medication which improves the quality of life of every patient with minimum risk. Pharmacists by their professional calling are dedicated to ensuring that disease is cured, symptoms are either eliminated or substantially reduced, an ailment is arrested or at worse its process slowed down. Also, the pharmacist is saddled with the responsibility of preventing disease, diagnosing disease as well as altering physiological processes for desirable result in the patient’s health. All over the world the pharmacist is known to be about the most accessible (health)
The Meningitis Challenge – A Case for Local Production of Vaccines

The Meningitis Challenge – A Case for Local Production of Vaccines

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
It has been over a century since the first outbreak of Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) epidemic occurred in Nigeria. And just as it is today, the first outbreak also emanated from the northern parts of the country – Zungeru to be precise, and reported in 1905 in the Journal of Tropical Medicine by McGahey. Though the first outbreak of the disease has no detailed accounts of it recorded safe to say that the epidemic was widespread – extending as far as Yola which is on the fringes of the North-East of Nigeria about 500 miles away east of Zungeru. In this first occurrence about 20,000 people were affected in which many thousands of deaths were recorded. There is no gain saying the fact that the meningitis epidemic that has been sweeping through the country recently took the health authoritie
Noise and the Health Hazards Posed by Generator Sets

Noise and the Health Hazards Posed by Generator Sets

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
With the epileptic power (supply) in the country - degenerating from bad to worse, and the nation losing huge revenue due to compounded energy crisis, the populace are also being encumbered with even greater (health) risks owing to noise, and air pollution. Part of the characteristics of the average Nigerian being that he easily ‘adapts’ to any situation he finds himself is not necessarily a resounding attribute. Albeit in the midst of abundance, the society inexplicably remains docile - coping with every manner of absurdity. The health hazards posed by the noise, let alone the pollution that emanates from power generating plants in our society is one that should make any health watcher shudder with rage and dread. For majority of Nigerians today, it is almost impossible for one not to
Beyond Import Tax Reduction on Pharma Raw Materials

Beyond Import Tax Reduction on Pharma Raw Materials

Editorial Opinion
It was indeed a New Year present as the pharmaceutical health sub sector awoke to the news of duty slash on imported pharma raw materials in January. One would recall that during the last Annual National Conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) which took place in Minna the Niger State capital in November of 2016, the body of pharmacists reeled out a number of points in a communiqué, to the government of the day regarding how to move the health sub sector forward. Prior to this event however, the PSN had made a high powered representation to government when it among other issues earnestly requested the president Muhammadu Buhari-led federal Government to see to it that every visible impediment on the way of local manufacturing as well as importation of pharmaceutical raw