Dr. Sabiu Adamu is the Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Federal Medical Centre, Keffi. He needs no introduction but I will not fail to say that he is a very gentle and amiable person. Speaking to pharmapproach in an exclusive interview, Dr. Sabiu Adamu pointed out the major factor that affects drug production in Nigeria. He equally urged pharmacists to pursue advancement in knowledge through effective education, looking at health care delivery as a collective responsibility and being optimistic towards betterment of the healthcare system.
May we meet you sir?
My name is Dr. Sabiu Adamu, the Director of Pharmaceutical Services in the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi. I can say I rose to the rank and I thank God for that. I started my hospital civil service career in the then Plateau Hospital Jos of the then Plateau State. From there, I moved to the then General Hospital, keffi in 1992 where I worked for few months before been posted to the General Hospital, Lafia where I worked from 1992 – 1996. Thereafter, I was reposted to the General Hospital, Keffi in 1998, which is now called the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi where I have worked to date.
May we know a bit about your early life and educational background?
I started my career as a civil servant in 1988 almost immediately I graduated from the university. I had my primary and secondary education in Plateau state and graduated in 1976 and 1981 respectively. Unfortunately, prior to my graduation from my secondary education, I became sick which affected my going to the university by one or two years. The actual problem was constant attack of migraine. This made me opt for a polytechnic to study electronics and communication engineering and forfeited other admissions from universities for the fear of engaging in stressful academic activities. After one year of studies, I switched to the Amadu Bello University where I graduated as a pharmacist. I did my Pharm. D program in the University of Benin and I am a fellow of the West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacists. I have a post graduate diploma in Business Management and I am currently undergoing a PhD program in Clinical Pharmacy in the University of Jos.
What lead you into the pharmacy as a profession?
All along I have been nursing the dream of working in the hospital as a care giver. In fact in one of the early days of my life while searching through the archive of my late father, I ran into a comprehensive letter I wrote about what I wanted to be in the future and surprisingly the letter was about my dream to work as a care giver in the hospital. That means the passion has been there and that gave me the courage to redirect my course to study pharmacy.
Being in the hospital has that being your passion? What actually lead to it?
I can say it was a natural instinct like I wrote in that letter I told you I found in the archive of my late Dad. I cannot remember when exactly I wrote it but the summary of it was that I wanted to work in the hospital as a health care giver. The help of a career guider in my secondary school also helped me develop interest in pharmacy. These made me leave the polytechnic after one year of studies and switched to university for a pharmacy program.
What other areas have you ventured into apart from the hospital?
Apart from the Master of Business Administration I talked about, I am also engaged in religious studies. I currently have a diploma in Islamic studies and am engaged in some other religious activities.
What is your specialty in the pharmacy field and your research outcomes?
I specialize is clinical pharmacy. I have engaged in researches that focused on the assessment of drug therapy problems in the treatment of hypertension. I have also researched in diabetes with the main objectives of assessing the drug therapy problems that mitigate intended drug therapy outcomes. Result of both studies indicated that lack of compliance to medications was a major problem and we have taken time to overcome that in this hospital.
What is the place of our local drug products in the effective management of health challenges in the hospitals?
We cannot indict anybody for now because the management mechanism that we have in the country will always claim to do its best. For example, NAFDAC, SON, NDLEA. These are agencies that are supposed to be concerned with the quality of drug products in Nigeria and should tell us the quality status of our drugs. But from our own end here we have not noticed any drug therapy problem from the Nigerian drug products.
What factors majorly affect drug production in Nigeria?
I think we have a lot of factors but one can quickly identify the government policy on drug production. We can say there is no favorable policy for the drug manufacturers in Nigeria. A lot of them are really complaining about the policy system in Nigeria when it comes to drug production. If you could interview graduates from pharmacy about where they would like to specialize, you would find that only a handful of them will tell you they want to go into manufacturing. This is majorly because there is no conducive policy and enabling environment for Pharmacists to go into manufacturing despite the rigorous training we pass through in the university on drug production.
How has drug manufacturing progressed in Nigeria?
I cannot give them the pass mark of progress. This is because we can count only a handful of them that are into local manufacturing while others depend on importation of raw materials and even the end products from other countries. If there is growth at all, I can say that the growth is very slow.
Could you tell us how these companies can partner with you to improve their company?
We can partner with any company in terms of consultation on issues regarding pharmaceutical care intervention. With my specializations in clinical pharmacy and as a certified fellow of the post graduate college of pharmacists and the various researches I have done. We have been able to implement such in our hospital here and we have done away with window dispensing of drugs and have engaged exclusively on pharmaceutical care intervention.
Can we know your belief and philosophy of life?
I believe in simplicity and in being godly. I am just giving my own contribution towards enabling human survival. I take things simple and good to others.
Could you share with us some of the challenges you have encountered as the Director of Pharmaceutical Services and how you have been able to overcome them?
Let me share one or two out of many. We have come a long way. It has been a transition from nowhere to somewhere. The mind set of pharmacists being timid and hiding under their cubicles is one of the biggest challenges that have been dealt with in this hospital. I have also been able to bring out the importance and relevance of pharmacists to other health practitioners in the hospital. We were able to achieve this through intense and effective training of our pharmacists in professional pharmacy programs, creation of enabling environment for pharmacists to further their education in Pharm. D program, M. Pharm. West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacists. We also have weekly presentations. These steps we have taken to improve ourselves.
What is your advice to pharmacists, our local pharmaceutical industries, and the masses?
To Pharmacists in general, we should endeavor to continue to pursue advancement in knowledge through effective education, look at health care delivery as a collective responsibility and be optimistic towards betterment of the healthcare system. For the local industries, they should keep the pursuit to see that government gives them the enabling environment for manufacturing of quality products. The masses should be knowledgeable about the opportunities available to them by the government and get themselves acquainted with the required actions regarding their health and to also know that pharmacists play very important roles regarding their health and drugs.