The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria on Monday painted a more gloomy future for the nation’s health sector.
The PSN Chairman in Oyo State, Abiodun Ajibade, who spoke at the commencement of the Pharmacy Week 2019, expressed fears that Nigeria’s health sector needed salvation as pharmacists leave the country on a daily basis.
Recall that the stakeholders in the health sector like the Nigeria Medical Association and the Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Prof. Jesse Otegbayo had few days ago raised the alarm over the development.
Ajibade confirmed the rising number of pharmacists who are migrating from Nigeria for greener pasture abroad.
Ajibade said, “Pharmacists population in Nigeria is very low, this is in spite of the great potential for growth occasioned by continuous emigration of pharmacists whom Nigeria has trained as a result of poor practice environment.
“Out of less than 30, 000 total population of practising pharmacists in Nigeria, over 5, 000 of them have gone outside the country.”
In his outcry, he highlighted also that “in the last couple of months, out of the few numbers of pharmacists in UCH, a lot of them have migrated to Canada.
“Most of young pharmacists from Nigeria are on their way to Canada, processing their visas here and there,” he said.
He complained that pharmacists migrate because “the enabling environment for pharmaceutical practice in Nigeria is challenging, considering that pharmacists in the country have such low level of recognition.”
On the challenges of safe medicine in Nigeria, Ajibade insisted that “even though medicines are produced under the approved good manufacturing practice, conveyed through good distribution practice and stored appropriately, it does not guarantee the safety and effectiveness of medicines in the hands of the health consuming public.
“In a nation where the average populace spends heavily on out of pocket basis for their health needs, it is so sad that the required values are lost because many of them are often denied quality pharmaceutical care.
“A situation where our hospitals do not have pharmacists, especially the private hospitals, but are offering medicines to patients, is a great disservice Nigeria is doing to the populace and a breach of their fundamental human rights.”