Women pharmacists strategise for drug-free Nigeria

From left, Drug Department Unit, NDLEA, Osun State, Dr (Mrs) Yetunde; chairman, Foreign Links Campus, Dr Fola Akinosun and Dr (Mrs) Margaret Afolabi of the Faculty of Pharmacy, OAU, at the event.

THE Association of Lady Pharmacists in Osun State, recently, joined the rest of the world to mark the

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking, with the theme: “Country with Drug-Free Lives.”

The commemoration which was aimed at raising awareness on the major problems that illicit drugs present to the society, as well as reminding youths and adults to avoid experimenting with drugs, was held at Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubese Town Hall, Ile-Ife.

The programme had in attendance prominent personalities in relevant fields in Osun State such as the Chief Medical Director, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), Professor Adebayo Adetiloye; educationist and chairman, Foreign Links Campus, Dr Fola Akinosun; the Obalufe of Ife, Oba Idowu Adediwura; Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Osun State command, Mrs Ekaete Egwunwoke; Osun House of Representatives members, representative of corporate organisations, OAU students and others.

The chairman of the event, Dr Fola Akinosun, in his speech, stressed the importance of sensitising Nigerians to dangers associated with drug abuse and trafficking. According to him, the menace of drug abuse was so enormous and intimidating that well-meaning people and professional societies cannot afford to fold arms and look the other way.

“There are staggering statistics and intimidating facts and figures that send cold shivers down the spine, as far as drug abuse is concerned. This day serves as a reminder of the goals of creating a drug-free Nigeria.”

He lamented the rate, owing to drug abuse, at which Nigerians engage in vices such as thuggery, cultism, armed robbery, rape, murder and suicide.

“We must be decisive on seeing the end of this scourge. All hands must be on deck. In addition, the NDLEA can still raise the tempo of its effectiveness by investing even more on technologies that can enhance its ability to detect hard drug traffickers or consumers to thwart and frustrate their efforts.

Given the enormous damage narcotics do to humanity, no effort should be spared by any government to curb its menace,” he said.

The chairman, Association of Lady Pharmacists and the chief organiser of the event, Mrs Olubukola Iyiola, in her remarks, said the goal of the association was to ensure the eradication of drug abuse and drug-related offences in the state. She urged pharmaceutical companies to partner with the association to make the fight against drug abuse realisable.

“The association is passionate about this cause and we saw the need to help our community and ensure that people are properly taken care of, in terms of their health. I would also urge governmental bodies and other associations to partner with us in order to reach our goals,” she said.

At the event, the cultural troupe of the Department of Theatre Arts, OAU, performed a short play on the dangers of drug abuse.