World Pharmacists Day 2016

World Pharmacists Day was the brainchild of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), with the FIP council voting to establish the event in the late 2000s during a conference they staged in Istanbul, Turkey. The aim of the day is to bring attention to pharmacies and the positive benefits they offer when it comes to health, and FIP encourages all its members to get involved to make the event a success.

Each year the organization announces a different theme so that associations and individuals in the pharmaceutical industry can put together national campaigns or local projects to showcase the good work they do in helping to improve the health of people around the world.



Young Pharmacists Mentoring Day 2016

Theme: Aligning Career Path towards Emerging Trends in Pharma Practice
Date:Saturday 18th June, 2106
Venue: MAN centre, Wemabod Estate, Off Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja
Time: 12noon prompt

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TB: Undetected and undiagnosed cases on the increase

The World Tuberculosis Day was marked worldwide on Thursday March 24, the 134th anniversary of Dr. Robert Koch’s discovery of mycobacterium tuberculosis, with a call by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for new commitments and new action in the global fight against tuberculosis – one of the world’s top infectious killers.

However, while WHO seems happy that there has been tremendous progress in recent years as the world is on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal of reversing the spread of TB by 2015 the story in Nigeria was not so impressive.

The health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole announced that the country is still recording as many as 250,000 deaths every year from the disease while there is “a distressing” rise in cases of undetected and undiagnosed tuberculosis in the country. In a speech at a World TB Day event organised by Star Deepwater Petroleum Limited in Abuja Adewole said Nigeria is currently number four, after India, Indonesia, and China amongst the 22 high-burdened countries that account for 80 per cent of global tuberculosis (TB) burden. “Of this global group, Nigeria accounts for 15 per cent of the gap in tuberculosis case notification.

The implication is that only one out of six cases of tuberculosis roaming around are detected, while five out of six roam around undetected. In other words everybody is not safe,” the Minister lamented. However, it seems Nigeria is not alone. Worldwide, WHO says no fewer than 9.6 million people fell ill with TB in 2014, including 1.2 million people living with HIV. Also in the year, a staggering 1.5 million people died from TB, including 0.4 million among people who were HIV-positive. Also, An estimated 1 million children became ill with TB and 140,000 children died of the disease in 2014.

”While there has been significant progress in the fight against TB, with 43 million lives saved since 2000, the battle is only half-won: over 4 000 people lose their lives each day to this leading infectious disease. Many of the communities that are most burdened by tuberculosis are those that are poor, vulnerable and marginalized,” WHO said in its statement to mark the World TB Day. Calling on countries and partners to “Unite to End Tuberculosis” the organization says ending TB will only be achieved with greater collaboration within and across governments, and with partners from civil society, communities, researchers, the private sector and development agencies.

“This means taking a whole-of-society and multidisciplinary approach, in the context of universal health coverage.” WHO however acknowledged that a number of countries are strengthening the strategic agendas of their TB programmes, by adopting newer tools,

Source:National Mirror

‘Niger 2016 budget has little funds for vaccines’

The group Community Health and Research Initiative (CHR) says its analysis of Niger states 2016 budget presented to the state legislature did not provide adequate funding for routine immunisation.

The finding is the outcome of a scorecard on Nigers budgeting presented by CHR as a coalition of civil society organisations and media working on routine immunisation met in Minna, with directors of Niger State Primary Health Care Development Agency, according to a statement.

CHR programme officer Ndidi Chukwu called on Niger government to develop a separate budget line for routine immunisation to enable it implementation vaccination against childhood killer diseases. In a communiqué at the end of meetings in Minna, stakeholders lamented piecemeal release of budgeted funding for routine immunisation, amidst worry that Niger released only 30% of funding meant for immunisation in 2015.

The group has also urged Niger government to ensure civil society organisations and media take part in budgeting to strengthen accountability and transparency.


NAIP 19th Annual National Conference 2016


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Pharm Sola Solarin elected as new Vice-President of FIP-IPS


Sola Solarin from Nigeria has been elected by ExCo as the new IPS Vice President for a four year term of office.His new term begins on January 1, 2016 when Frans Van der Vaart steps down. Sola becomes the first IPS officer born,raised and based in Arica; a tribute to him, and to the growing importance and influence of Africa on industrial pharmacy. We(NAIP) congratulates you on your position, and our prayer for you is that God will help you to break new ground in the pharma sector.

Fact Sheet about Lassa Fever

Lassa Fever

Key facts

  • Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness of 1-4 weeks duration that occurs in West Africa.
  • The Lassa virus is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.
  • Person-to-person infections and laboratory transmission can also occur, particularly in hospitals lacking adequate infection prevent and control measures.
  • Lassa fever is known to be endemic in Benin (where it was diagnosed for the first time in November 2014), Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and parts of Nigeria, but probably exists in other West African countries as well.
  • The overall case-fatality rate is 1%. Observed case-fatality rate among patients hospitalized with severe cases of Lassa fever is 15%.
  • Early supportive care with rehydration and symptomatic treatment improves survival.


Though first described in the 1950s, the virus causing Lassa disease was not identified until 1969. The virus is a single-stranded RNA virus belonging to the virus family Arenaviridae.

About 80% of people who become infected with Lassa virus have no symptoms. One in five infections result in severe disease, where the virus affects several organs such as the liver, spleen and kidneys.

Lassa fever is a zoonotic disease, meaning that humans become infected from contact with infected animals. The animal reservoir, or host, of Lassa virus is a rodent of the genus Mastomys, commonly known as the “multimammate rat.” Mastomys rats infected with Lassa virus do not become ill, but they can shed the virus in their urine and faeces.

Because the clinical course of the disease is so variable, detection of the disease in affected patients has been difficult. However, when presence of the disease is confirmed in a community, prompt isolation of affected patients, good infection protection and control practices and rigorous contact tracing can stop outbreaks.

Symptoms of Lassa fever

The incubation period of Lassa fever ranges from 6-21 days. The onset of the disease, when it is symptomatic, is usually gradual, starting with fever, general weakness, and malaise. After a few days, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, cough, and abdominal pain may follow. In severe cases facial swelling, fluid in the lung cavity, bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina or gastrointestinal tract and low blood pressure may develop. Protein may be noted in the urine. Shock, seizures, tremor, disorientation, and coma may be seen in the later stages. Deafness occurs in 25% of patients who survive the disease. In half of these cases, hearing returns partially after 1-3 months. Transient hair loss and gait disturbance may occur during recovery.

Death usually occurs within 14 days of onset in fatal cases. The disease is especially severe late in pregnancy, with maternal death and/or fetal loss occurring in greater than 80% of cases during the third trimester.


Humans usually become infected with Lassa virus from exposure to urine or faeces of infected Mastomys rats. Lassa virus may also be spread between humans through direct contact with the blood, urine, faeces, or other bodily secretions of a person infected with Lassa fever. There is no epidemiological evidence supporting airborne spread between humans. Person-to-person transmission occurs in both community and health-care settings, where the virus may be spread by contaminated medical equipment, such as re-used needles. Sexual transmission of Lassa virus has been reported.

Lassa fever occurs in all age groups and both sexes. Persons at greatest risk are those living in rural areas where Mastomys are usually found, especially in communities with poor sanitation or crowded living conditions. Health workers are at risk if caring for Lassa fever patients in the absence of proper barrier nursing and infection control practices.


Because the symptoms of Lassa fever are so varied and non-specific, clinical diagnosis is often difficult, especially early in the course of the disease. Lassa fever is difficult to distinguish from other viral haemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola virus disease; and many other diseases that cause fever, including malaria, shigellosis, typhoid fever and yellow fever.

Definitive diagnosis requires testing that is available only in specialized laboratories. Laboratory specimens may be hazardous and must be handled with extreme care. Lassa virus infections can only be diagnosed definitively in the laboratory using the following tests:

  • antibody enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • antigen detection tests
  • reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay
  • virus isolation by cell culture.

Treatment and vaccines

The antiviral drug ribavirin seems to be an effective treatment for Lassa fever if given early on in the course of clinical illness. There is no evidence to support the role of ribavirin as post-exposure prophylactic treatment for Lassa fever.

There is currently no vaccine that protects against Lassa fever.


Prevention and control

Prevention of Lassa fever relies on promoting good “community hygiene” to discourage rodents from entering homes. Effective measures include storing grain and other foodstuffs in rodent-proof containers, disposing of garbage far from the home, maintaining clean households and keeping cats. Because Mastomys are so abundant in endemic areas, it is not possible to completely eliminate them from the environment. Family members should always be careful to avoid contact with blood and body fluids while caring for sick persons.

In health-care settings, staff should always apply standard infection prevention and control precautions when caring for patients, regardless of their presumed diagnosis. These include basic hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, use of personal protective equipment (to block splashes or other contact with infected materials), safe injection practices and safe burial practices.

Health workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed Lassa fever should apply extra infection control measures to prevent contact with the patient’s blood and body fluids and contaminated surfaces or materials such as clothing and bedding. When in close contact (within 1 metre) of patients with Lassa fever, health-care workers should wear face protection (a face shield or a medical mask and goggles), a clean, non-sterile long-sleeved gown, and gloves (sterile gloves for some procedures).

Laboratory workers are also at risk. Samples taken from humans and animals for investigation of Lassa virus infection should be handled by trained staff and processed in suitably equipped laboratories.

On rare occasions, travellers from areas where Lassa fever is endemic export the disease to other countries. Although malaria, typhoid fever, and many other tropical infections are much more common, the diagnosis of Lassa fever should be considered in febrile patients returning from West Africa, especially if they have had exposures in rural areas or hospitals in countries where Lassa fever is known to be endemic. Health-care workers seeing a patient suspected to have Lassa fever should immediately contact local and national experts for advice and to arrange for laboratory testing.

Source: WHO

Lassa Fever Death Toll Rises To 41

Lassa fever has claimed 41 lives from 93 reported cases in 10 states of the country, the Federal Government, yesterday, disclosed.
Adewole, who confirmed this in Abuja, yesterday, at a joint ministerial news conference on the update of the outbreak of the disease, however, said there were no new confirmed cases or death in the last 48 hours.

“In the last 48 hours, the government raised a four-man expert committee, chaired by Prof. Michael Asuzu, to visit Kano, Niger and Bauchi, the three most endemic states. The committee will embark on a fact-finding mission, assess the current situation, document response experiences, identify gaps and proffer recommendations on how to prevent future occurrences,” he said.
The minister assured the public that the task of the committee was not to apportion blame but rather to document lessons learnt for better planning of an effective responsive.
According to Adewole, part of the long term response is to establish an inter-ministerial committee to deliver a final blow on Lassa fever and other related diseases.
The committee comprised the Ministers of Education, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Environment, Information and Culture as well as Health.
Adewole advised communities to improve on their hygiene, including food hygiene and food protection practices. He also urged the public to avoid contact with rodents and rats as well as food contaminated with rat’s secretions and excretions.
“Avoid drying food in the open and along roadsides, it is also important to cover all foods to prevent rodents contamination,” he said.
He named the affected states to be Bauchi, Nasarawa, Niger, Taraba, Kano, Rivers, Edo, Plateau, Gombe and Oyo.



It is my pleasure and honour to lead this delegation of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria to your office on this auspicious occasion. On behalf of my colleagues, I wish to congratulate the Honourable Minister once again for your appointment and thank you immensely for granting us this audience.PSN 111

Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria was founded in 1927 and registered under section 21 of the 1922 Companies Act. It is an umbrella body of all the registered pharmacists in Nigeria with a vision to be recognized as a society whose members are accessible healthcare professionals responsible for the provision and rational use of safe, effective and affordable medicines, pharmaceutical care and the promotion of public health and quality of life.

L-R: Past PresidentPharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Mr. Olumide Akintayo; National President PSN, Mr. Ahmed Yakasai; A Member of PSN, Mr. Victor Okwuosa; Minister of State For Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire; and Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, during PSN visit to ministry of Health in Abuja… on Tuesday Photo

This visit affords us an opportunity to interact with you and share our humble perspectives on the role that the Pharmaceutical Sector can play in national development when carefully, harnessed.

We shall also bring to your notice our thoughts on some contemporary issues especially as it relates to Healthcare delivery. This includes:

1. Drug Distribution Guidelines and Related Matters

2. Implementation of the National Health Act 2013

3. Reconstitution of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria and Boards of Teaching/Specialist Hospitals

4. The Continued Instability in the Health Sector

5. Impact of ECOWAS Common Tariff (CET)

6. Policy Implementation

7. Welfare of Workers in Nigeria


The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria wishes to commend the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Health in initiating a Drug Distribution Guideline for the country. As it stands presently the Federal Ministry of Health through recommendations from the PSN, Pharma stakeholders and the regulatory forum has approved a new drug distribution flow chart for the country.

This slight amendment from the original National Drug Distribution Guidelines which limited choices of prospective wholesalers to State Drug Distribution Centres and Mega Drug Distribution Centres. The concept of Coordinated Wholesale Centres which is now an added leg to the wholesalers offers a major opportunity to close down open drug markets in our country once and for all.

The PSN, PCN, NAFDAC and FMOH have worked maximally on this project and we strongly urge the Honourable Ministry to sustain this spirit in the current dispensation.


The PSN has in recent times continually paid glowing tributes to all those who made possible for Nigeria to have its first ever National Health law.

It is important to put on record that the National Health Act is probably the only statute that attracted the attention of a wide spectrum of stakeholders in health and the larger society. There is therefore an urgent need to factor in this broad spectrum solidarity in fashioning the implementation of the National Health Act.

In the immediate past dispensation, the Federal Ministry of Health was reported by a section of the media as having sworn in a new Technical Review Committee (TRC) for the National Health Act (NH Act 2014).

The Committee which was said to be “cautiously selected to guarantee representation of the key institutions has a mandate to guide the implementation of the National Health Act”.

Naturally, the PSNaccepts the principle of setting up Committees which is also within the powers of the Federal Ministry of Health.

As a follow up to the Technical Review Committee on the National Health Act 2014, a series of other implementation templates of the National Health Act have emerged without representation being sought from Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and some other professional Associations and Unions in the health sector.

We are worried that the members of the 26-man Technical Review Committee and other related committees are unknown to the larger portion of key stakeholders.


Honourable Minister, we do not wish to bore you with all the tragedies associated with the constitution and operations of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria in a particular dispensation, specifically between 2009 and 2011.

In the short time we have had to run without a governing council, we have tried very hard to sustain the ideals of pharmacy practice in Nigeria. Fundamentally, disciplinary matters and accreditation of pharmacy facilities for training suffers in the absence of Council.

We urge you to facilitate the immediate reconstitution of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria.

In the same vein, it is pertinent we inform the Honourable Minister about the lopsidedness of appointments on the Board of Teaching and Specialists Hospitals as well as Federal Medical Centres. In the last dispensation pharmacists were represented on only five (5) of the well over fifty five (55) Boards of these Federal Health Institutions. Our experience confirms that this lopsided appointment format affects healthcare plans and ultimately overall output. We therefore reiterate our previous appeal that at least one pharmacist be appointed on each of the Boards of our Federal Health Institutions.


For a comprehensive, coordinated, safe health system that is responsive to the needs of the population, efficient use of resources, increased job satisfaction, with reduced stress and burnout of health professionals, we need collaborative practice based on trust and mutual respect amongst the health care team. Internationally, the World Health Professions Alliance WHPA brought together the International Pharmaceutical Federation, the World Medical Association, the International Council of Nurses, the World Dental Federation and the World Confederation for Physical Therapy for collaborative practice, hence the need to replicate it and work harmoniously as a team. It is possible.

Some pressing challenges in the health sector which have lingered for so long compel a dire need to appeal to the Hon. Minister to urgently look into the problems.

1. The issue of Federal Medical Centre, Owerri. For over three months, health professionals and workers, members of our Associations and Unions at the Federal Medical Centre Owerri were on strike, practically closing down the hospital for the entire period, subjecting patients and members of the public to untold hardship. It is hoped that the Fact Finding Committee that was constituted on this challenge would carry out her assignment expeditiously.

2. Non employment of graduates of pharmacy into the Federal tertiary hospitals as intern pharmacists or as registered pharmacists even Federal Health Institutions in the catchment areas where pharmacy graduates were trained do not employ them.

3. The attitude of management in some of the Federal Health Institutions is a major let down. Often times the Drug Revolving Funds are decapitated because the funds are diverted to other endeavours which is a violation of the Drug Revolving Funds manuals and guidelines in the enabling statute.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria finds it necessary to inform you on the viability of well managed Drug Revolving Funds in public health institutions.

4. The issue of commercialization or privatization of health facilities which cannot be in tandem with global best practice and is different from a public private partnership (PPP) concept.

5. However, there is also need for health system audit and general overhaul for efficiency, therefore some services like catering, security, mortuary services and general maintenance can be totally privatised.

5. Impact of ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET)

The Implementation of ECOWAS CET which allows finished Pharmaceutical products to be imported at zero percentage duty is a good gesture and same should be extended to raw and packaging materials which now attract a duty percentage ranging from 5% to 20%. This simply means that locally manufactured pharmaceutical products have become uncompetitive. The fall out is an eminent closure of all Nigerian Pharmaceutical plants. Again many Pharmaceutical Manufacturers are running out of raw materials due to lack of response from banks on the letter of credit requests and is likely that many will close shop in the next two months. We urge you to intervene on this critical issue.

6.Policy implementation

The Nigeria Drug Policy provides that 70% of government purchase should be sourced from local manufacturers. I think the time has come for this policy to be implemented at all levels of government. It will boost internal capacity utilization and make local manufacturing more attractive. With the new opportunity for new government and new way of doing things and from your character and characteristics, I have no doubt in my mind that you will provide a strategic direction, develop and implement policies that will see the Pharmaceutical sector become globally attractive and competitive


It is pertinent to mention that we have valid court judgments, collectively bargained Agreements, Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and even circulars signed with government which have remained implemented on a haphazard or discretionary basis by the Federal Health Institutions, such as the following:

i. Implementation of the spirit of the existing circular on promotion of our members from CONHESS 14 to 15 as directors which places premium on the need to sanction defaulting hospital managements.

ii. Specific steps must be taken by the Head of Service of the Federation to ensure the expedited issuance of an enabling circular authorizing consultancy cadre for health professionals that have adhered to due process, to be vested with consultancy status as a prelude to inculcating this cadre into the schemes of service of these health professionals. This must be worked out with the Federal Ministry of Health in line with the spirit of the circular on consultancy and specialist allowances Ref. SMH.491/S.2/VOL II.221 of 29th March, 1976, which authorizes consultancy status for all health professionals, and the condition precedent of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) that provides for a nod of the Federal Ministry of Health for the appointment of consultants.

iii. Payment of arrears of specialist allowances to qualified hospital based health professionals with effect from January 1, 2010, should be ensured.

iv. Full payment of arrears of the skipping of CONHESS 10 which remains outstanding since the year 2010.

v. Release of the circular on adjustment of salary since January 2014 and immediate payment of at least 2 months arrears, while the balance is accommodated with proven evidence in the 2016 budget.

vi. Sponsoring an amendment bill to correct the anomalies in Decree10 of 1985 (CAP U15 463) LFN 2004, especially in the following areas:








In the spirit of the broad spectrum of reforms, there is no reason why for 6 years now the NHIS encourages unlawful payment mechanisms dubbed global capitation, while HMOs also capitate secondary and tertiary facilities which out rightly disrupts the equilibrium of the health system.

We demand that the Federal Government direct the board and management of the NHIS to immediately adopt lawful payment mechanism to wit, capitation for primary providers and fee for service for secondary and tertiary providers.

Government must also redress the capitation modes by embracing international global best practices on what constitutes a primary facility for capitation in Nigeria.


Honourable Minister, we wish to convey our appreciation for your approval of this courtesy call and humbly invite you to my formal inauguration as the President of PSN and investiture of our new Fellows on the 18th of February 2016 at Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

Thank you.