In this enlightening chat with Pharm. Abel, Samuel, Pharmacist Ahmed Yahaya, the Chief Pharmacist in the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, and a certified fellow of the West African College of Pharmacists reveals among others the synergy between the public health, hospital and the local industries and how our local pharmaceutical industries can improve their products.
May we meet you sir?
Thank you for giving me the privilege to have myself expressed in the Pharmapproach platform. I am by name Pharmacist Ahmed Yahaya the Chief Pharmacist in the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, and a certified fellow of the West African College of Pharmacists.
May we know a bit about your early life and educational background?
I hail from the Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. I did my primary education in Nasarawa State, graduated in the year 2000 as a Pharmacist from the University of Jos. I did my internship in the Gwagwalada Teaching Hospital. I mastered in public health due to my passion to become a public health practitioner. I am also a Fellow of the West African College of Pharmacy. I am currently a Chief Pharmacist in the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi.
What lead you into the pharmacy profession?
I think it will be good for us to note that from the initial point of view while we were choosing a course to read in the university, the choice of pharmacy as a course to read was to serve humanitarian services. The passion to see people get out of pain and to attain confidence in becoming well again with smiles was the primary reason that drove me into studying pharmacy.
Being in the hospital has that being your passion? How has your career in the hospital pharmacy and public health being and what is your vision?
In clinical services, pharmacy practice is more of a routine. The hospital practice is more of curative approach to health management. After working here for a while, we felt instead of sitting here and wait for people to get sick and come for treatment, why not we stop people from getting sick so that they could invest more of their time taking care of other important needs. Instead of individual curative approach, why not prevent the entire community from getting sick and reduce the number of people that come to the hospital for treatment. This is part of what lead me into public health and I do not intend to stay in the hospital for a longer time from now. I love to see myself truly practicing the public health services.
What other areas have you ventured into apart from the hospital and public health?
I think to some extents, all we are doing is controlled by principles of life and government policies but unfortunately, we see less of pharmacists practicing politics and participating effective in the environment where parliamentary decisions are taken. For us to have such enabling environment to practice effectively we have to venture into politics to help influence the policies and laws to favour the entire masses in terms of health and drug related matters. I have been in politics since my university days and do intend to venture into state and federal politics.
Is there any synergy between the public health, the hospital and pharmaceutical industries that locally manufacture their products?
Yes there is a big synergy and I want you to know very clearly that the majority of our drugs here in the hospital are from the local companies like Emzor, Evans, etc. these companies also partner with us to help offer services that improve the lives of patients in the hospital.
How has drug manufacturing progressed in Nigeria?
For sure, there is huge progress in the drugs produced by our local industries. That is not to say we don’t have those who are failing us. But the likes of Emzor, Evans Fidson, and others are giving us good products and they are progressing and we appreciate their efforts so far.
How do you think our local pharmaceutical industries can improve their products?
On their quality assurance because, even though we have noted that their drugs are very good, some of the batches fail. So, improving the standard and quality of drugs produced and effective quality assurance will go a long way in meeting the health needs of the society.
Could you tell us how these companies can partner with you to improve their company?
For me, it is a very good omen. Well, as a certified public health practitioner, in the issue of advocacy and efficacy of products and detailing, I will be available for such services. By way of my training and experiences both in the hospital and as a certified public health practitioner, our local pharmaceutical companies can partner with me in the areas of detailing of their drug products; premarketing and post marketing researches.
Can we know your belief and philosophy of life?
I believe that we are not just created to add number to the world but to add value. In everything I do and where I find myself I make sure I leave that place better than I met it and to make people happy while leaving an image that will never be forgotten. That has been my philosophy and belief in life.
What is your advice to pharmacists, the local industries, and the masses?
To pharmacy as a profession I think we are progressing but we need to stand up and make the profession more profiting for the betterment of the people coming after us. To the industries, they should ensure proper quality assurances and increase the standard of their production to gain qualification by the world health organization. To the upcoming professionals, the profession has a wide area for consideration in Nigeria. I want us to expand so that every part of the profession can be maximized including participating boldly in politics and other parliamentary issues that affect our profession both directly and indirectly. The areas of agriculture and political grounds in Nigeria are yet to be harnessed. We should take full grab of our position before we are left behind.