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Tightening the Borders for a Healthier and More Virile Nigeria

Tightening the Borders for a Healthier and More Virile Nigeria

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
Recently the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, joined voices with the discerning few who expressed support for the temporary border closure by the Nigerian government in its bid to control the ever present trans-border smuggling of prohibited goods including adulterated and substandard drugs into the country. While sharing his opinion with news hunters the emir conveyed his disappointment with the attitude of countries that share borders with Nigeria – for not helping the country in her quest to develop her economy as well as local products. “I always felt that if you really want to enforce laws that you have against smuggling, you need to close borders. “… You have goods coming in across the border using the port in Cotonou to avoid tax revenues in Lagos; so what happens is we don’t
As Pharmacy Stakeholders Brainstorm on Local Production

As Pharmacy Stakeholders Brainstorm on Local Production

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
Concerned about huge medicine import into the country to the detriment of local manufacturing, stakeholders in pharmacy sub-sector on 20thAugust, 2019 held a roundtable and took pragmatic steps that could lead to a reversal of the trend. Indeed the Nigeria pharmaceutical sub-sector has huge potentials to exploit towards boosting her local production capacity but the political will and policy implementation keep dragging every effort to a state of inertia. The roundtable discussion which reportedly had in attendance critical stakeholders such as, Ministry of Health, PCN, PSN, NAFDAC, NIPRD, PMG-MAN, CBN, BOI, Nigeria Association of Pharmacists in the Academia, Raw Material Research and Development Council, United States Pharmacopoeia, Research, Documentation and Industrial Liaison Committ...
A Deluge of Suicide  by ‘Sniper’

A Deluge of Suicide by ‘Sniper’

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
The rising cases of suicide acts linked to Sniper has unsettled many Nigerians regarding how to reduce these sad occurrences in our society. Widely used as pesticide in farms, the challenge with Sniper is in its affordability and accessibility to virtually anyone, and young Nigerians are exploiting it. The small bottle of 100ml is sold for about N500 in the open market thereby encouraging its acquisition by all and sundry. A catalogue of the sad development presents the shocking reality. On August 2, 2019, a 400 level female student of Department of English , Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife , Osun state, Opeyemi Dada, consumed Sniper and died allegedly over poor academic result. Similaly, on July 1, 2019 in Nassarawa State, a 34-year old Adeyemo Isaac, reportedly took sniper and died ...
As Pharmacists seek Inclusion  in Administration of  Drugs via Parenteral Routes

As Pharmacists seek Inclusion in Administration of Drugs via Parenteral Routes

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
The push for inject-able medication administration beyond immunization has increased and the momentum is building within the pharmacy profession across the world. This perhaps explains why pharmacists in Nigeria recently brought the idea on the front burner of professional discuss. The New Pharma Frontier, a social media platform of Licensed Nigerian Pharmacists for purposes of interaction on matters that affect their profession and career came alive recently when contributors to the topic “The Administration of Drugs via Parenteral Routes by Nigerian Pharmacists,” bared their minds with patriotic zest. No doubt the practice of pharmacy and the scope of pharmacy practice across the world have evolved significantly; the evolution according to experts has been driven by escalating costs in
No Rush to Marijuana Cultivation in Nigeria

No Rush to Marijuana Cultivation in Nigeria

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
A popular maxim says “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to get permission.” The idea is that decisive action is better than risking delay while seeking approval. That’s the case with advocacy for legalisation of marijuana cultivation in Nigeria currently being promoted by a section of the Nigerian elite. Just because legalisation is happening in some countries around the world is no reason for Nigeria to jump hastily on the bandwagon. Ondo state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu who stirred the hornet’s nest recently when he said that his state is set to tap into legal marijuana market under the supervision of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency had appealed to the Federal Government to permit his state to embark on marijuana cultivation in controlled plantations. Governor Ake
Emergence of State Health Insurance Schemes

Emergence of State Health Insurance Schemes

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
Over the years, the failure of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to fulfill its primary objective of providing the required health insurance coverage for all Nigerians has compounded the fortunes of those at the lowest rung of the economic ladder. A ray of hope that emerged through the approval of one percent from the Consolidated Revenue Fund by the Federal Government in 2018 budget remains the key to the provision of basic healthcare for all Nigerians irrespective of their financial status. The move, essentially, was to enable the funding of projects, programmes and policies towards the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria by 2025. The goal of the UHC, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), is to ensure that all people and communities obtain he...
Beyond Inaugurating Cancer Centre in Lagos

Beyond Inaugurating Cancer Centre in Lagos

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
On 9th February, this year, President Muhammadu Buhari officially commissioned an utra-modern cancer treatment centre in Lagos - executed through Public-Private-Partnership agreement by the Federal Government and Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority. The ceremony, according to President Buhari, represents a bold step by his administration to fulfill its promise of establishing one cancer centre per geo-polilical zone in the country. Revamping the nation’s health sector to provide long-term chronic care is very crucial and the concept of PPP is key to facilitating efficient and effective control of the deadly disease. However, setting up one cancer centre in nearly four years may not be the best of propositions to cover a country with a population of close to two hundred milli
New PCN Law – Long overdue

New PCN Law – Long overdue

Editorial Opinion
The passage last year of the new Pharmacy Council of Nigeria Bill by the national assembly was long overdue even though it generated commendable reactions from stakeholders in the health sector. We believe that it is better late than never to have a law that will boost efforts aimed at sanitising the pharmacy services in the country. Before the passage of the bill, the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN), the body responsible for the regulation of pharmacy practice in the country operated like a lame duck due to the weaknesses in enforcing the Acts setting it up. But now it is expected that when the bill is signed into law by President Mohammadu Buhari, the PCN will be sufficiently empowered and adequately strengthened to deliver effectively on its mandate. Pharmacy practice in Nige...
Return of Lassa fever And the Need for Vigilance

Return of Lassa fever And the Need for Vigilance

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
The report that there is fresh outbreak of Lassa fever should sound a note of warning to the Government and the people of Nigeria. As we have all learned, early action against any epidemic is absolutely critical to save lives. The virulence of Lassa fever is not in doubt. With over 50 deaths recorded in Ondo State as a result of Lassa fever outbreak, residents, as well as medical practitioners, are in panicky mood. It is worrisome that as at press time the epidemic disease has found its way into Plateau, Ebonyi, and most recently Edo state. The return of Lassa fever in the country, especially the pace of spread of the virus is a grim reminder that epidemics are a threat and that the only way to get this virus under control is through rapid response. It would be recalled that an outbr...
Time to Equip NAFDAC

Time to Equip NAFDAC

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
The Director General of National Agency for Foods and Drug Administration and Control, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye made a shocking revelation recently in Lagos when she said that 80 percent of her agency’s equipment is not working. Interestingly, she made the revelation while receiving members of the Senate Committee on Health who were in Lagos on a fact finding mission of state of affairs of federal health institutions located in Lagos state. The NAFDAC boss also used the opportunity of the occasion to inform her guests that the last time officials of the World Health Organisation visited NAFDAC Laboratory in Yaba, Lagos, the agency was scored zero by the global health watchdog. Prof. Adeyeye’s revelation is commendable and indicates that her administration is prepared to take the agency
Adherence to Professional Ethics, Panacea to Qualitative Healthcare in Nigeria

Adherence to Professional Ethics, Panacea to Qualitative Healthcare in Nigeria

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
The need for observance of ethical practices by healthcare professionals in Nigeria dominated discussions by experts during the 2018 edition of the World Pharmacists Day celebrations that held in Lagos recently. Various speakers who spoke on the theme, ‘Pharmacists: Your Medicine Experts’, identified unethical practices as one of the reasons why the nation’s health sector continues to falter after 58 years of Nigeria’s independence. President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, who was among the speakers, alerted the nation at the occasion when he said that professionals in health have crossed their legitimate sphere of practice by taking responsibilities that are outside of their core training. He wondered why healthcare professionals without training
NMA/ JOHESU Conflict: A Feverish Anticipation for Peace and Harmony

NMA/ JOHESU Conflict: A Feverish Anticipation for Peace and Harmony

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
The recent indefinite nationwide strike embarked on in April by the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has had its fair share of influence on the nation’s healthcare system. In the course of the unfolding events, it was suggested by some Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) state chapters that JOHESU was engaging in acts of sabotage in their health institutions. On the other hand, JOHESU members accused the medical doctors of deliberately scuttling the implementation of agreement the federal government had earlier entered with its members, including upward review of CONHESS. Over the years health watchers have observed the inner wrangling and somewhat mutual distrust going on in the health sector – from federal to the states levels. It has been no love lost between the medical doctors and
Aftermath of ACPN Elections: Time to Forge Ahead

Aftermath of ACPN Elections: Time to Forge Ahead

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
The 37th annual national conference of ACPN ended recently in Benin, the Edo State capital with the election of new leaders who are to preside over the affairs of the body of community pharmacists in the next 3 years. In the keenly contested election, Pharm. Samuel Oluwaoromipin Adekola, former national vice chairman and community pharmacist from Akure, Ondo State polled a total of 292 votes to edge out his closest rival and community pharmacist from Rivers State, Pharm. Chima Ogbu who polled a total of 288 votes. In a post-election statement Pharm. Ogbu had cried foul, alleging that he was denied victory by what he described as ‘official conspiracy’. Whatever that statement signifies, the allegation is weighty and should not be swept under the carpet by the Adekola led-administration in
Time to Declare Emergency in Healthcare Sector

Time to Declare Emergency in Healthcare Sector

Editorial Opinion, NEWS
President Muhammadu Buhari recently hinted that his administration is considering upward review of budgetary allocations to the health sector in order to enhance the quality and access to medical facilities across the country. The president reportedly made the disclosure while receiving in audience the new leadership of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), recently at the state house, Abuja. The urgency of more funding for the health sector is presently underlined by the unprecedented level of deterioration of the sector in all fronts: inadequacy of medical facilities, 35,000 medical doctors attending to over 180 million people, brain drain, absence of modern equipment, high cost of drugs, high morbidity and mortality rates among numerous other challenges facing the healthcare system in Ni...
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