The 17 pioneer graduates of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences were inducted at a colourful ceremony at the University Auditorium.
While administering the oath on the pioneer Pharmacy graduands, the Registrar of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharm. Elijah Mohammed, urged the new pharmacists to make their patients their priority and focus on lessening the burden of disease on Nigerians while carrying out their professional mandate.
The Registrar also urged the graduands to acquaint themselves with the code of professional ethics, which prescribes their professional and moral responsibilities towards their patients, Pharmacist colleagues, other health professionals, their employers and the general public.
Pharm. Mohammed said, “It is worthy to note that Pharmacists’ competency is not only about knowledge and skills, competency should also include critical thinking and decision making, innovation, social interaction (negotiation), development leadership skills and inter professional relationships.”
The Registrar described Pharmacy as a noble profession, which guarantees opportunities for new graduates and emphasised that, at the moment, Pharmacists are legally responsible for the safe and accurate dispensing of medication among other responsibilities.
In her keynote address, entitled “From Drugs to Patient Care: Pharmacy in the Next Dispensation”, the Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, Prof. (Mrs.) Mbang Nyong Femi-Oyewo, said that by virtue of the professional training and orientation, the Pharmacist is recognized globally as being qualified to handle drugs, poisons, medicines and pharmaceutical products and devices, which make them a very important link in the rational use of medicines in a nation’s health system.
Prof. Femi-Oyewo pointed out that members of the public have a lot of confidence in Pharmacists, noting that “As proof of the public’s confidence in their pharmacists, the profession is continually ranked by the Gallup Poll as the most trustworthy profession. In previous years, Pharmacy has been rated by Forbes as the best Healthcare profession.”
She, therefore, urged the graduands to be part of professionals who have sustained the confidence.
While tracing the evolution of Pharmacy as a profession, the scholar, who led the first NUC accreditation team to the University of Ilorin under the Vice-Chancellorship of Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, noted that Pharmacy evolved in the 1960’s towards a more patient-oriented practice and developed the concept of Clinical Pharmacy. This, according to her, marked the beginning of a period of rapid transition that was characterized by an expansion and integration of professional functions, as well as increased professional diversity and closer interaction with physicians and other health care professionals.
The Keynote Speaker identified specialisations of Community Pharmacy such as Hospital Pharmacy, Academic Pharmacy, Industrial Pharmacy, Regulatory and Enforcement, Journalism and Military.
In his address at the event, the Vice- Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali (OON), who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (RTI), Prof. Gabriel Olatunji, told the graduands that by virtue of being the first set, there is a lot of responsibility on them as good role models to subsequent graduands.
He expressed the gratitude of the University to the pioneer Dean of the Faculty, Prof. P. F. Olurionola, and his successor, Prof. Hajara Ibrahim, for the solid foundation which they laid at the Faculty.
In his own address, the incumbent Dean, Prof. Abdulkarim Agunu, recalled that the Faculty took-off from the premises of the old Works Department but now has a dedicated building and the right laboratories, which earned it its full accreditation.
Prof. Agunu also appreciated the first two Deans and Professor (Mrs.) Taibat Bakare-Odunola and Mrs. K.W. Garuba for their sacrifices, which have lifted the faculty to its current status in the University.
Highlights of the ceremony included the award of prizes to the best graduating students, Miss Rihanat Ajibola Saadu and Mr. Ghazali Yusuf.
Other award winners included Ayorinde Oluwatomiyosi Oluwatosin, who was the best graduating student in four courses and Ayotunde Hamidat Taiye who won two prizes.
Also, the children of Prof. Olurinola, the pioneer Dean of the Faculty, announced the institution of a prize for the best graduating student in his area of specialisation, while Prof. Hajarat Ibrahim made similar announcement in her area of specialisation.
While speaking with newsmen at the end of the ceremony, a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University,Prof. Luke Ayorinde, who is the proud father of a multiple prize winner, Ayorinde Oluwatomiyosi Oluwatosin, expressed his joy for witnessing the memorable day and acknowledged the Almighty God as the one who grants wisdom and knowledge to whomever He wishes.
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