The Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas (NAPPSA) has called on the government to as a matter of urgency invest in building a strong health infrastructure in Nigeria.
This call was made recently in Abuja when the association donated coronavirus pandemic diagnostics, PPEs and other medical consumables to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Speaking at the official presentation of the items, the President of NAPPSA, Dr Anthony Ikeme, who was represented by Dr Ali Onoja, said the donations underscore the association’s continued efforts at assisting the country in overcominge the virus.
He said the nations with strong healthcare infrastructure and a solid manufacturing base were beginning to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the pandemic to tap into the global medical and pharmaceutical products’ supply chain, following the collapse of China’s near monopoly in that sector.
He said: “We regret that Nigeria counts among the nations that missed out on the opportunities presented by the truncation of the global medical and pharmaceutical supply chain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The lessons from the pandemic should inform our decisions going into the future. There is an urgent need for investment in the creation of robust protocols for preparedness, prevention and containment of pandemics as well as their related economic and social impacts,” he said.
NAPPSA, while thanking NCDC for its role in coordinating the country’s COVID-19 response, encouraged the Centre and other stakeholders in healthcare delivery to use their positions to facilitate the creation of a national strategy for medical and pharmaceutical manufacturing in Nigeria. Adding that this should not only be as a way to prepare for future health emergencies but also to position the country to earn foreign revenue as an alternative source for medical and pharmaceutical supply.
The Director General, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, who received the donations, thanked NAPPSA for the gesture, even as he assured that NCDC was willing to collaborate with NAPPSA and other related professional bodies in diaspora to engender a strong health sector.
The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa also commended NAPPSA for the donation. She said it is a gesture that is worthy of emulation. NAPPSA has continued to show leadership in ensuring that Nigeria provides the right response to the fight against COVID-19. Apart from this donation, it has been availing the nation of regular updates on the global efforts to tackle the pandemic since its outbreak.