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SON makes inroads into traditional medicine practice

By JONHMARK UKOKO

Nigeria seems to be getting its act right in the area of traditional medicine. Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in collaboration with African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) has developed over 10 standards on traditional medicine for the country.

The SON feat is coming on the heels of the World Health Organisation (WHO) traditional medicine strategy 2014-2023 aimed at building a mental capacity as well as formulating national policies on the strategy.

Director-General of SON, Farouk Salim, disclosed this recently during his lecture at Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State with the theme: Impact of Standards On The Practice Of Pharmacy Profession.

Salim, therefore, urged pharmaceutical manufacturers to strengthen the industry through development, adoption and standardisation of the sector for economic growth, nothing that standards remain crucial for the survival of the country.

He maintained that standards were particularly crucial in the pharmaceutical sector, as the practice has zero tolerance for error and as much as standards enhance investments in trade and Africa’s healthcare industry enshrined in the African Free Continental Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

He added that the SON has been exploring existing international, regional and national standards to meet the continent’s unique challenges in trade and pharmaceuticals.

Salim reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to working with relevant authorities such as National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and others for the approval of more traditional medicine standards.

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Responding, Vice Chancellor, Igbinedion University Okada (IUO), Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, noted that the pharmacy profession played a vital role in delivering care and helping people maintain and improve their health, safety and well-being Ezemonye explained that the profession could improve the quality of care they provide through adherence to standards for education and training, registration to practice and code of conduct among others. He said the university had recently received accreditation for Bachelor of Pharmacy Degree Programme by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) and National Universities Commission (NUC) with the first set of admissions in the 2021/2022 session.

Also speaking, Dean College of Pharmacy, Prof. Ighodaro Igbe, said the idea of public lecture has become imperative, first as an integral part of the college’s academic tradition to generate discourse around pertinent issues in Nigeria.

“Secondly, it is an opportunity for universities to engage with the government, businesses and members of the public to inform and educate the community through leading open discussion of issues confronting our country, regions and the world.

“It is against this backdrop that the topic for today’s lecture was organised to capture stakeholders’ concerns. The Professionals Practices Standards (PPS) is intended to provide guidance on the expected standards of professional behaviour of pharmacists towards individuals, community and society,” he added.

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