PCN Inducts 38 new Pharmacists


The healthcare sector received a major boost last Thursday with the induction of 38 new Pharmacists into the profession by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) at the 2nd Oath–Taking/Induction Ceremony of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Port Harcourt.


Performing the ceremony, which took place at the Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium, Acting Registrar of the Council, Mrs Gloria Abumere, charged the new Pharmacists to strive for excellence in their chosen profession, describing Pharmacy as a noble career line that requires diligence and hard work from practitioners.

Mrs Abumere stated that “Pharmacy, like every human endeavour, is dynamic and so the need for you to continuously update your knowledge cannot be overemphasized,” stressing that “the Continuing Professional Development Programme is the veritable instrument which the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) officially ensures continuing competence of Pharmacists throughout their career.”

Mrs Abumere reminded them that there is need to be up-to-date with current international best practices, adding that “the Council, along with the Faculties of Pharmacy nationwide, is building men and women of power; of exceptional intellectual prowess and competence, who would take their proper place among fellow professionals.”

In his address, Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Ajienka, who congratulated the Inductees on the successful completion of their programme, advised them to “strive harder to improve on the excellent culture of academic excellence and administrative efficiency they have so far established in the emergent Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.” The Vice-Chancellor disclosed that substantial investment, in both human and material resources, has been made in the Faculty, acknowledging that more was still required.

Professor Ajienka further revealed that the Faculty has grown to become an Institutional Member of the International Pharmacists Federation, Amsterdam, Netherlands, expressing hope that this rare feat would take the Faculty to higher pedestal, internationally.

Earlier in his address, Dean of the Faculty, Professor Oleka Udeala, said that “the essence of an Induction Ceremony is to have the professional body declare its agreement in public that the University has carried out its function of training, as well as exposing the students to the academic disciplines necessary for their journey in their chosen profession satisfactorily, stressing that “what they obtain today is a Provisional Registration which initiates them into the practise under the supervision of  Registered Pharmacists in a Health Institution, Industry and University  approved  by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria.”

Professor Udeala stated that that “the knowledge that you have acquired within the walls of the University comes under scrutiny, so does your integrity as attested to your character, as it pertains to respect for human life”, disclosing that “by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria Decree 91 of 1991, you are authorised to import, export, mix, compound, prepare, dispense, sell and distribute drugs and poisons. This is a heavy responsibility; I hope you divest yourselves of laissez affair approach to your work in practise of the profession so that the balance sheet of your performance will always record Credit.”

In a Keynote Address, Director, Pharmaceutical Services, Rivers State, Dr (Mrs) Elizabeth Didia, said that “the greatest challenge facing the profession is the attitudinal inadequacies of the practitioners”, adding that “many Pharmacists have not realized their responsibilities within the current philosophy of the practice.” Dr (Mrs) Didia, whose address was titled, “Challenges of Pharmacy in Nigeria”, stated that due to low density of Pharmacists in the country, large portion of drug provision is handled by Patent and Propriety Vendors License (PMVL) Holders.

In her speech, Best Gradating Student (BGS), Miss Pokuboye-Amakiri Bala, thanked authorities of the University for the quality of training they received in the School, assuring them that they would do their best to uphold the name of their Alma Mater.

Highlights of the event, which also included goodwill messages from the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Professor Aaron Ojule, who was represented by Dr Abiodun Arigbede and Provost College of Health Sciences, Professor Chris Akani, were presentation of Provisional Certificates to the New Pharmacists by the PCN, as well as presentation of Award to the Best Graduating Student.

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