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In Anambra, stakeholders seek more tech deployment in the pharmacy sector

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PHARMACEUTICAL Socie ty of Nigeria(PSN), Anambra State Chapter, recently held their 28th Annual Conference at Hilton Leisure Hotels, Awka, Anambra State, with the theme,” Technological Revolution; Panacea to Challenges in Pharmaceutical Practice in Nigeria’, which  also provided the platform for interaction by practitioners on grey areas of the practice, with professionals providing answers to the questions.

   The event was graced by the governor of Anambra State, Dr. Willie Obiano, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Ogochukwu Okpala, other top government officials, past and presents presidents of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, pharmacists within and outside Anambra, among others.

   Declaring the conference open, Governor Obiano, represented by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala, said the health sector had a lot of challenges and the adoption of technology can play a great role in addressing the problems. He said his government had keyed into the availing of technology, to advance the pharmaceutical practice in the state.

  “One of the things we have done as a government in the pharmaceutical sector was to align the state with the realisation of the 2012 Drug Distribution Guideline by way of establishing a Wholesale Centre in Anambra State. I am super impressed that the current leadership of the PSN in Anambra is working hard to ensure that is achieved in the next three months,” he said.

  Governor Obiano further stated that the centre is critical as the state harbours the largest open drug market in the world.“With the problem we are having with drug distribution in the state, especially understanding that the state has the largest drug market in the world, the centre will help us control that. Working together and with the deployment of technology, especially in manufacturing, quality control, drug distribution, prescription and even value to our retail pharmacy, we can be able as pharmacists, to deliver effective service to our people.”

  Executive Secretary, Anambra State Health Insurance Agency [ASHIA], and the chairman of the occasion, Dr Simeon Onyemaechi, said the theme of the conference was apt, considering the need for pharmacists to overcome the disruptions of the 21st century and still be relevant.

  In a welcome address, the state chairman of PSN, Pharmacist Josepat Obasi, expressed gratitude to God for keeping everyone alive to witness the day. He said,” our annual conference has not held for some years due to some logistics and mostly COVID-19. The theme for the conference was carefully chosen, for the purpose of finding solutions to some of the challenges facing the practice of the profession in Nigeria”.

  According to Obasi, there is need for pharmacists to embrace the trend with technology, to meet the global needs of their roles as pharmacists, especially in the 21st century, which is driven by technology. He spoke of the efforts of addressing the chaotic drugs distribution system in the state. “We have intensified efforts to end the chaotic drug distribution system in the state by partnering with Central Pharmaceutical Wholesale and Allied Ltd, at Coordinated Wholesale Centre (CWC), Oba, the only approved CWC in Anambra State and we thank the Federal Ministry of Health and Pharmacists Council of Nigeria for the approval and their support and also the governor, Dr. Willie Obiano, for all the supports he has given to this association and pray to God to continue to guide and protect him in all his endeavours.   We are currently working with PCN to stop proliferation of illegal premises especially by quacks. One thing is sure, we promise Anambra residents quality pharmaceutical services to safeguard their lives”, he pledged.

 Chairman planning committee for the event, Pharmacist Benedict Nwaneki Nonso, said the event was designed to create deeper insight that will help pharmacists improve in their service delivery.

  In a keynote presentation, Chief Executive Official, Tricare Pharmaceutical Nigeria and the National Chairman, Association of Industrial Pharmacists, Pharmacist Ken Onuegbu acknowledged that drugs in the Nigerian market will continue to be of low standard because of obvious challenges, saying while technology is key to addressing some of the issues, it is equally important to breed ICT-compliant personnel to drive the process.

  “The primary purpose of any technological revolution is to create a new or improved product or process whose technological characteristics are significantly different from the initial one. A good technology-driven product or system innovation should keep people safe and healthy, maintain less error, promote simplicity and efficiency, enhance decision making, promote mobile working and achieve greater speed in delivery. It is therefore not in doubt that through technological revolution, we can find the solution to most of the challenges confronting our pharmaceutical practice,” he said.

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