They marched into the town carrying music with them, they danced amidst the blare of trumpets and resounding drumbeats; Agege will never be the same again. The colourful banner bore the message, “Pharmacists Walk against Drug Abuse, Misuse and Addiction” and the T-Shirts reminded us that it was “Time to Test, Treat Hepatitis B, Cure Hepatitis C.” Obviously it was the turn of this highly populated suburb of Lagos to host the sanitising visit of the campaign train of pharmacists to enlighten its citizens on the grave danger posed by wrong use of drugs by the people.
From the Agege Main Market the dancing troop and anti-drug abuse campaigners of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) trudged to the palace of the Olu of Agege, HRH, Oba Kamila Oyedeji Isiba. The Lagos State 2018 Pharmacy Week activities were based on the theme: Drug Abuse, Misuse, and Addiction.
The staged health walk by the pharmacists under the aegis of Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN) culminated in a warm reception by the traditional monarch in his palace. He sought to know the reasons behind the rally in Agege, and to his palace.
The pharmacists group who were drawn from different hospitals, such as LUTH, General hospitals, and the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric hospital, Yaba, etc. A spokesperson for the group explained that they were on a mission to benefit the community through the campaign, to help eradicate drug abuse amongst the citizenry.
The traditional monarch heartily thanked the pharmacists for carrying their campaign to his domain, adding that a ‘certain group of youths’ in the area are notorious for constituting a nuisance in the neighbourhood due to drug abuse and addiction. He commended the PSN for staging the campaign, stating that the health awareness walk was apt and timely, and contrary to what some people are wont to think, “this visit to Agege is not politically motivated.” He also expressed gratitude for the free medical check-up which was part of the activities on the occasion.
Furthermore, Oba Isiba expressed his admiration for the ‘men of honour’ for their gesture, and requested to know how the community leaders can be of help in entrenching the campaign in Agege community. He asked, “Who can we report to when we see anyone aiding and abetting the issue of illegal drug sale and abuse?” To this effect, a representative of NAFDAC in the group, Pharm. Clara Anyanwu, Acting Director, Drug demand/ Reduction Division of NAFDAC, while explaining the inherent dangers of drug abuse, added that NAFDAC is ever ready to help, even to the extent of effecting arrests.
At the health talk that followed at the Main Market arena, Pharm. Christopher Ugwu, a staff of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital – Yaba in his presentation urged everyone to keep a healthy lifestyle and eat wholesome diet. Very importantly, emphasis was laid on the need to consume salt in moderation. This, the expert said is very critical to the health of the heart.
Also, Pharm. Ugwu stressed the importance of taking fruits and vegetables as part of your daily diet. He advised his listeners to avoid high alcohol consumption, including the need to promote no smoking habit and a smoke-free environment. Ugwu stated also that regular exercise is very vital to maintaining a healthy heart as well as an overall good health.