Gov Inuwa Declares Open 96th Annual Conference Of Pharmaceutical Society Of Nigeria In Gombe
…Harps On Synergy With PSN In Achieving Universal Health Coverage
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, CON has expressed his administration’s readiness to partner with Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN towards actualizing his administration’s ultimate target of providing quality healthcare services for all citizens of Gombe State.
The governor made this known while declaring open, the 96th Annual Conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria in Gombe.
A press release on Tuesday, 31st October 2023 signed by the Director-General (Press Affairs) Gombe Government House, Ismaila Uba Misilli, said that Governor Inuwa’s administration recognized the significance of pharmacy and other medical professionals in healthcare delivery, which is the reason the government is committed to fostering an environment where pharmacists and other medical professionals can thrive and make meaningful impacts, promising continued support and increased investment in their professional development in Gombe state.
The governor who is the chairman Northern Governors Forum described the theme for this year’s conference, “Pharmaceutical Practice: A Pivot to Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria” as not only apt but timely, adding that the aim of the conference is in line with the President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda and his administration’s policies and programmes which are geared towards ensuring universal health coverage in the state.
Lamenting on the acute shortage of health professionals including pharmacists in the country, the governor noted that, “the World Health Organization, WHO recommends 1 pharmacist per 2,000 people. Nigeria today has only 1 pharmacist per 12,000 people, thus highlighting the enormous gap in our healthcare sector. This is exacerbated by the brain-drain syndrome where qualified pharmacists and other medical professionals are fleeing the country on a daily basis in search of greener pastures abroad. Sadly, this gap is being filled by quacks and pseudo-professionals whose activities endanger the health and well-being of our people”, he lamented.
Governor Inuwa however said his government is making concerted efforts to address this problem through the training of pharmacists at the Gombe State University, which is the largest producer of Pharmacists in the state.
“Our administration shall continue to support the university in training qualified and highly skilled professionals for our health sector and beyond.
“Recently, our administration established the Drugs and Medical Supplies Management Agency in order to standardize drug administration and ensure safe and effective use of drugs. This, together with the Gombe State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (Go-Health) and other medical institutions, is providing the enabling environment for pharmacy professionals to contribute to the realization of universal health coverage in Gombe State”, he added.
He expressed his government’s readiness to collaborate with the professional body towards providing access to safe, affordable, and effective medications and healthcare services for all citizens in Gombe State. “There is a need for collaboration between the Gombe State Government and the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria in this regard. Together, we can address the challenges that the healthcare sector faces, such as ensuring the availability of essential medicines, tackling counterfeit drugs, and improving healthcare infrastructure in our state.
“I am using this opportunity to express our willingness to partner with pharmaceutical companies to set up pharmaceutical businesses in Gombe State. This will help towards unlocking local opportunities, ensure self-sufficiency in the production of medical consumables, and promote domestic innovation in the medical and pharmaceutical fields”, he added.
He further noted that the second Gombe State Investment Summit will provide a platform to showcase the numerous investment potentials in Gombe State which could be leveraged by the Pharmaceutical Industries especially the 1000-hectare Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park where many local and foreign companies have already indicated interest to open shops.
He expressed confidence that the government and good people of Gombe State would benefit from this year’s conference. “Considering the caliber of participants in this conference, I have no doubt that your deliberations and recommendations will go a long way in shaping government policies and programmes that will positively impact the well-being of our people”, he noted.
The Deputy Governor of Gombe State, Dr. Manassah Daniel Jatau presented a keynote address at the occasion.
Earlier in his Address, the National President, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Professor Cyril Usifor, appreciated the government and people of Gombe State for the warm welcome accorded the society and its members, the gesture he described as uncommon, maintaining that it will go along way in making the gathering a huge success.
The president said he was encouraged by the level of commitment from the state government under the leadership of Governor Inuwa Yahaya, expressing readiness to partner with the state in the fight against drug abuse and other related crimes to ensure a healthy society.
Also in his remarks, the Chairman of the opening ceremony of the conference, His Royal Highness, Igwe Orano Chidume applauded Governor Inuwa Yahya’s remarkable achievements in governance which transformed Gombe into a model state. I specifically cherished the peace, harmony, and enduring environment prevailing in Gombe State courtesy of Governor Inuwa’s sterling leadership”, he said.
Others who spoke at the occasion appreciated the giant strides of Governor Inuwa Yahaya especially in the area of infrastructural development and the total overhaul of the health sector in the state.
They called on Pharmaceutical Industries to leverage on the opportunities in Muhammad Buhari Industrial Park and other investment potentials of Gombe State to establish factories and other related businesses for the growth and development of the country.