Members of the Ikeja Zone of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Lagos State Chapter, have carried out free medical check-ups and donation of drugs to ‘Area F’ Commands of the Nigeria Police Force.
The outreach to the officers and men of the Nigeria Police was two pronged; marking the weeklong Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) scientific week and the commemoration of the World Pharmacists Day 2021 which takes place every September 25th.
Speaking to our correspondent, Pharmacist Lawrence Ekhator, chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Lagos State branch said that the programme which held simultaneously in the fourteen areas commands of the Nigerian Police in Lagos, was meant to bring health tips to the officers.
“Like we all know, the ‘police is our friend’. So, we came to their domain to show them they are our friends too. A lot of officers and men of the Force do not actually find time to take care of themselves, especially in their pursuit of their duties to humanity and the community.
“So, we felt that bringing this outreach to them would have at least pointed them in the right direction that this is what should be done routinely. And the screenings have detected some of them who need further and urgent medical attention and have been counseled and referred appropriately.
Pharm. Ekhator also urged the officers and men of the Force and the general public to abide by the COVID-19 protocols and ensure they partake in the vaccination exercise.
“First, COVID-19 is real. It is important that members of the public do not delude or wave it away. As community pharmacists in Nigeria and Lagos State in particular, we are urging members of the public to take it very seriously. A lot of us have lost loved ones to COVID.
“Yes, it did not originate from our domain (Nigeria), but like other diseases such as HIV/AIDS; when it started this was the same way people wished it away until a lot of people started seeing the effect of HIV/AIDS. So, we do not have Nigerians to become the statistics that the world will use to make negative reference points. We advise that everyone should be precautious – wearing of nose-masks, social distancing should be continued.
He said that the public should not lower their guards thinking that the frenzy of COVID-19 has gone down.
Also in her remarks, Pharm ( Mrs ) Vivian Ibeh, chairperson, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Ikeja branch, Lagos State, applauded the ‘Area F’ Commander for approving the outreach for the officers and men by community pharmacists of the ACPN.
Globally, the theme of the WPD 2021 is Pharmacy: Always trusted for your health.
“The pharmacists are the most accessible HCP’s to the teeming public in any nation.
“For community pharmacists in Lagos State ACPN our theme recognises the role played by the Officers and Men of the Nigerian Police in protecting lives and maintaining law and order for the citizens of our nation”, she explained, adding that ACPN initiated the move to foster a harmonious relationship with the premier security personnel- The Police.
“In 2020, during the unprecedented lockdown of COVID-19 pandemic, community pharmacists enjoyed a good measure of safety in their mandatory service to humanity because the officers and men worked tirelessly 24/7 to guarantee security.
At the outreach ACPN provided a wide range of health checks and vital screenings ranging from comprehensive Eye check-ups, HIV screening, Hepatitis screening, lipid profile tests, PSA tests, deworming exercise, free drugs, free consultations and referrals, health education, etc.
They also presented an appreciation award to the Area F command and donated OTC drugs to the Police cottage hospital pharmacy.
In his response, Ali Zongo, Area Commander ‘Area F thanked the team for the outreach which he said has added value to the lives of officers and men of the Command.
He said that as gallant officers and men of the Nigerian Police, a healthy police officer translates to a more secure and safe community.