Prof. Noel Wannang, a well-respected pharmacologist and clinical pharmacist, has voiced alarm over the rising rates of breast cancer and infant death in Nigeria.
He urged pharmacists to devise new methods of combating the problem.
This was announced by Wannang of the University of Jos on Thursday during the pharmacy week seminar hosted by the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria in Uyo.
He said that Nigeria is currently ranked first in West Africa for breast cancer sickness and second on the issue of newborn mortality, behind only the neighboring Niger Republic.
Speaking at an event titled “Pharmacists Strengthening the Health Systems,” Wannang expressed disappointment that Nigeria’s health results had not improved despite increased spending since 2001. He noted that similar or even lower spending in other nations had resulted in better health outcomes.
Furthermore, he pushed for a well-regulated and carefully designed healthcare system with strict laws, oversight, and responsibility.
His exact comments were, “Nigeria continues to lead West Africa in breast cancer sickness. Also, in terms of infant mortality, the country ranks second only to the neighboring Niger Republic.
Infant mortality is at 54.74 deaths per 1000 live births, while life expectancy at birth is at 60 years for men and 64 years for women in Nigeria.
Pharmacists need to make significant changes in the fields of practice, research, and training. They need to learn how to lead in order to transform Nigeria’s healthcare system.
Akwa Ibom State will soon have a medication information center, as stated by Pharm Abasiama Uwatt, State Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria.
She lamented the high exchange rate, saying it had caused drug prices to skyrocket because pharmacists must import nearly all raw materials for drug production.
Uwatt claimed that the industry was losing talented people owing to low pay and urged the government to create regulations that would benefit the sector.
According to her, “we have pharmacists who have completed the basic training, go ahead to specialize, but are still regarded as fresh graduates.”
We have public health and clinical pharmacy and community pharmacy consultants who are underutilized despite being seen as experts with doctoral degrees.
We have newly-minted pharmacists graduating without a place to complete their required internship of at least one year. We also have policies that are not helpful and do not encourage the development of local capabilities.