“March on NAPPSA We Have Come a Long Way”
- Funmi Ajayi, Ph.D., NAPPSA President
Judged by all metrics, the 2014 NAPPSA Scientific Conference held in ‘tropical’ Orlando, Florida, USA, from September 18 - 21, 2014, was a tremendous success. The conference was attended by hundreds including pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, physicians, students and other healthcare professionals from all over the globe. Also in attendance were representatives of the Nigerian government led by Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, Hon. Minister of State for Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria; Pharm. Bruno Nwankwo, Chairman, Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN) and leaders of the private pharmaceutical sector led by Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, the conference keynote speaker and President, Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce. The conference which was themed “Building Pharmaceutical Capacity for HIV/AIDS and Non-Communicable Disease Management”, addressed Nigeria’s myriad of healthcare challenges ranging from education, practice, research and development, innovation, regulatory to compliance.
Dr. Funmi Ajayi, President, NAPPSA
The President of NAPPSA, Dr. Funmi Ajayi presented a report of her stewardship since assumption of office last year. She said, “Looking back, our organization has come a long way since it was founded in 2006. But I will focus on our achievements in the past year”. She added “In my address last year, I touched on some specific focus areas during my term. It is only reasonable to give an update on some of our achievements. Like W.H. Murray, I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now!”
Dr. Ajayi proceeded to highlight the accomplishments of her administration which included “…The opportunity for members attending the conference to renew their Nigerian Pharmacist license, …..report that the Business-2-Business and Fundraising Committees are actively working on their target deliverables which respectively include
o Recruiting new Buying Group members, and
o Evaluating additional sources of funding for NAPPSA e.g. (i) rebates from non-NAPPSA Buying Group members, (ii) increased efforts towards sourcing corporate donations, and (iii) ease of making tax-deductible donation via NAPPSA website (NAPPSA Foundation tab)”
She further revealed that “In order to strengthen and support opportunities for Pharmacy Education exchange programs between Nigeria and US, a mentoring scheme was developed by the Education Committee whereby members adopt pharmacy students in Nigeria that they coach and stay in constant touch with. In addition to providing unique opportunities for Continuing Pharmacy Education credits, two workshops offered during this conference were developed as our deliberate effort to (i) address an essential requirement for independent Pharmacy Store owners and, (ii) enhance general understanding of the burning PharmD curriculum issue. Furthermore, opportunity for the young professionals to network and re-establish connections during this conference would boost NAPPSA’s efforts towards its goal of harnessing and fostering career development”.
Dr. Ajayi underlined the network of new and/or enhanced relationships NAPPSA has developed with entities such as, “Ministry of Health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), and affiliated organizations e.g. Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA)”. She commented further that “You would recollect that on November 25, 2013, NAPPSA and Federal Ministry of Health signed a mutual memorandum of understanding (MOU) at a ceremony hosted by the Hon. Minister for Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, in Abuja. Innovative strategies for driving key focus areas of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) were developed during the NAPPSA Face-2-Face Board meeting in May”.
“In addition, collective efforts of several Board members in collaboration with the Publication & Website committee have resulted in: timely dissemination of information to members; enhancement of NAPPSA’s Facebook page and development of brand new NAPPSA website (http://www.nappsa.org/) enhanced NAPPSA Brand in order to foster a wider level of recognition for the association and establish a global presence as one of the key leaders in the field of pharmacy and pharmaceutics”.
In this regard she reported that “in partnership with NAPPSA, HD Smith established an annual scholarship fund of $1000 to be awarded during the annual conference. The 1st recipient of the HD Smith/NAPPSA Scholarship Award, Dr. Oreoluwa Adedoyin, received her award in December 2013. I am excited that the 2nd award will be given during this conference.”
Dr. Ajayi took time to commend all who have contributed to the success of her administration when she said, “These noble achievements are not the President’s achievements, they are not the achievements of NAPPSA Board; they are our collective achievements. We have all achieved these together, we have all come this far together and we have come a long way. There is no going back, we shall march forward and I will continue to count on you”. She extended appreciation to “The honorable Ministers among us, our exceptional Keynote Speaker - Mazi Ohuabunwa, Key government officials from Nigeria, PCN Chairman & Registrar, Deans of Pharmacy schools, all speakers, our able CPE provider – Dr. Barry Bleidt, and all attendees.”
Others she commended were “The 2014 NAPPSA Conference Local Organizing Committee members under the leadership of Pharm. Kenneth Shobola & Pharm. Fidellis Abuh and their able meeting coordinator, Pharm. Lillian Okpaleke... The 2014 NAPPSA Conference Program Chair - Dr. Anthony Ikeme, Program Committee members and the NAPPSA staff that worked tirelessly towards the success of this conference.” Dr. Ajayi concluded by also extending gratitude to “all our Sponsors and Exhibitors as well as all NAPPSA members….”
Assuming the role of a motivational speaker, she drove her enthusiastic message home when she exuberantly urged “So, march on NAPPSA, we have come a long way on the path to an even brighter tomorrow!”