COMMUNIQUE OF THE 96TH ANNUAL NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY OF NIGERIA (PSN) TAGGED “JEWEL CITY 2023” HELD FROM 30TH OCTOBER TO 4TH NOVEMBER 2023 AT GOMBE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE, BAUCHI ROAD, GOMBE STATE, NIGERIA.
The conference commenced on Monday 30th October, with Health Walk which was flagged off by the First Lady of Gombe State, Her Excellency, Hajiya Asma’u Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya.
The opening ceremony on Tuesday, 31st October 2023 took place at the International Conference Centre, Gombe. It was attended by the Host Governor of Gombe State, His Excellency, Mohammadu Inuwa Yahaya, CON (Dan Majen Gombe), Chairman of Northern Governors Forum; the Deputy Governor of Gombe State and Keynote Speaker, His Excellency, Manassah Jatau, Ph.D (Tauraron Waja) and Gombe State Government Executive Member. Also in attendance were the Registrar of Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharm. Ibrahim B. Ahmed; the representative of NAFDAC DG, Dr Gbenga Fajemirokun; PSN Past Presidents (Pharm. M.Y. Budah, FPSN, Pharm. U.N.O. Uwaga, FPSN, Pharm. Anthony Akhimien, FPSN, Pharm. Azubike Okwor, FPSN, Pharm. Olumide Akintayo, FPSN, Phmar. Ahmed I. Yakasai, FPSN, Pharm. Sam Ohuabunwa, FPSN); Chairman of PSN BOard of Fellows, Pharm. J.E.B. Adagadzu, FPSN. Other dignitaries in attendance includecd members of the Armed Forces and well wishers from all facets of life. The Chairman of opening ceremony was HRH, Igwe Oranu Chris Chidume, MON (Eze Ana-Ukwa Eze Igulube of Omor). The Royal Father of the Day was Alh. Abubakar Shehu Abubakar III, CFR, Emir of Gombe and Chairman, Gombe State Council of Chiefs.
Goodwill messages were delivered by Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas (NAPPSA); National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC); Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professional (NUAHP) and College of PSN Past Presidents (CPP). The Keynote Address titled "Pharmacy Practice: A Pivot to Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria" was delivered by the Deputy Governor of Gombe State, His Excellency. Manassah Jatau, PD (Tauraran Waje).
During the 5-day event, the Conference deliberated on the theme and sub-theme of the 5-day Conference and other contemporary issues. The deliberations, meant to chat the course for a successful Universal Health Coverage and healthcare strengthening through research, manufacturing, advocacy, clinical services, specialization and political action, came up with the following observations and recommendations:
1. Conference called for proactiveness in dealing with emerging disease states including Lassa fever, Ebola, Covid-19, Monkey pox, Buruli ulcer, Diphtheria, and other related diseases. Conference encouraged government at all levels to make funds available to research-based pharmacists in research institutes, Drug research and production units, Centre for drug discovery and the Pharmacy schools to identify, research and produce drugs of choice for use in our pecullar environment. This was the only way to actualize the concept of universal health coverage with Pharmacists as the pivotal point persons.
2. Conference commended the office of the Head of Service of the Federation (HOSOF). The immediate Past Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Health Engr Adebiyi and the incumbent Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Health Ms Daju Kwachelong for facilitating the approved scheme of service for pharmacist consultant cadre in the federal civil service. Conference amplified the dimensions of its gratitude to the key chieftains of the Federal government and other key personnel who are currently concluding plans to create vacancies for pharmacist consultants in all the 56 Federal Health Institutions (FHIs) in tandem with the efforts of government to rejig the health
system through new collaborative efforts are productive and sustainable. Conference suggested consideration and high premium be placed on local content, partnerships with relevant stakeholders, especially Pharmacist/ Traditional medicine practitioners coalition in the quest for successful new discoveries and unveil already existing remedies.
3. Conference highlighted the unfavourable status-quo of over two million unregistered drug sellers, thirty-five open markets, the fake drug syndrome with a high incidence rate of 16% - 48% based on various national and international studies in the last twenty-five years, the unacceptably high rate of drug abuse involving the use of narcotics and controlled drugs even when government embarks on what has always been described as insufficient funding of agencies involved with drug distribution in Nigeria. Conference therefore warned that mortality rate in the health system will surpass the all-time high of 10.8% recorded in 1998, if funding of Pharmacy Council of Nigeria is abandoned by the Federal Government on whatever grounds.
4. Conference called for the prove of corruption against some of the CEOs of the FHIs, who empirical data confirm, indulge in procurement of drugs through their proxies in addition to diverting DRF accruable to identifiable bank accounts that are not official accounts in their institutions. Conference called for a special retreat to resuscitate DRF by bringing together the HODs of Pharmacy and the CEOs of all the FHIs with a caveat to mandate the PSN NEC to sponsor same if the Federal Ministry of Health is interested in such collaboration.
5. Conference also contended that all facilities in Nigeria which sell or dispense drugs must have Superintendent Pharmacists, hence urging the NHIA accrediting for drug use only facilities that meet the required guidelines.
6. Conference applauded the paradigm shift with regards to the operations of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency which is beginning to tap into the potentials of Community-based practices of the respective health professionals by utilizing their high cross mobility and proximity to the grassroots to engage them in some areas of care competence.
7. Conference drew attention of the Federal Government to the PCN Act 2022 which provides for perpetual succession in spirit. Conference invited the Presidency to consider an immediate constitution of the Governing Council of PCN by appointing a Chairman of impeccable pedigree and generally perceived as fit and proper in alignment with the enabling statutes. Conference set the priorities of the new Governing Council of PCN to include:
a. set a workable timeline for the implementation of Pharm D as the minimum benchmark to practice Pharmacy in Nigeria.
b. Regulating and controlling practice by tackling the menace of unregistered pharma premises, open drug markets and drug abuse as it embraces an unprecedented monitoring and control in drug distribution channels. The above mandate must be pursued sequel to the provisions of Section 9 (1) of the PCN Act which compels budgetary and extra-budgetary allocations.
c. Accreditation of all Pharma training institutions in Nigeria.
d Activation of the disciplinary process through the Investigating panel and disciplinary tribunal.
8. Conference emphasized the need for NAFDAC to come up with a robust and sustainable pharma covigilance system and a qualitative database. In similar vein conference declared a need for product liability cover for all products in circulation in the Nigerian market while curtailing the rapid proliferation of products in circulation.
9. Conference approved the setting up of a strategic legal action committee which shall:
a. Articulate and harvest all the existing legal and legislative frameworks supporting and protecting the practice of pharmacy in line with acceptable global standards.
b. Identify key bottlenecks to the effective and full deployment of the existing legal and legislative provisions in the laws and statutes of the country and generate both short- and long-term policies and actions that will ensure that impediments are considerably reduced if not eradicated.
c. Research and develop relevant legal and legislative tools to ensure the unimpeded and smooth practice of pharmacy in line with global standards.
10. Conference conveyed the depth of her appreciation to the Governor of Gombe state, the Deputy Governor and the good people of Gombe for the provision of an enabling environment which includes the ultramodem Gombe International Conference Centre adjudged as arguably the best Conference facility in Nigeria today for the 5-day conference, the luxurious confines of the banquet hall of the government house for the closing banquet, the valuable donations and logistics support which made the 96th Annual National Conference another worthwhile endeavor in the impressive social diary of the PSN.
11. Conference AGM approved the plan of action for the centenary celebration of the PSN as adopted by the National Council of her meeting of Sunday, October 29, 2023. Conference expressed gratitude to the President in Council for his initiative to commence an early preparation for a befitting Centenary Celebration.
12. At the end of the conference AGM, and a democratic electoral process, the following registered pharmacists were elected to run the PSN NEC for the 2023/24 year.
- Pharm. (Prof.) Cyril O. Usifoh, FPSN - President
- Pharm. Ibrahim H. Binji FPSn - Deputy President (North)
- Pharm. (Dr.) Egbuna C. Udeorah, FPSN - Deputy President (South)
- Pharm. Gafar ‘Lanre Madehin, FPSN - National Secretary
- Pharm. Ikenna C. Mbata, MAW - Assist. National Secretary
- Pharm. Jelili Adewale Kilani, FPSN - Treasurer
- Pharm. Luka Wetben - National Financial Secretary
- Pharm. (Dr.) Felix Ndiukwu - National Publicity Secretary
- Pharm. (Prof.) Moses A. Akanmu - Editor - in-Chief
- Pharm. Nafisatu J. Mijinyawa - Internal Auditor
- Pharm. (Dr.) Obianuju Onwuatuegwu, FPSN - Unofficial Member
- Pharm. Dr. Kingsley Chiedu Amibor FPSN - Unofficial Member
- Pharm. Mazi Sam I. Ohuabunwa, FPSN - Immediate Past President.
Pharm. (Prof.) Cyril O. Usifoh, FPSN
Pharm. Gafar ‘Lanre Madehin, FPSN