It was revealed on Tuesday that about 90 percent of the drug supplies distributed to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the North East were manufactured in Nigeria, an indication of Nigeria’s nearness to self sufficiency in the manugacturing of drugs.
This was disclosed by Mrs Modupe Chukwuma, Director of Food and Drug Services in the Ministry of Health. Chukwuma, a pharmacist, represented the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, at a two-day conference organised by the Centre for Drug Discovery, Development and Production (CDDDP), Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan. The Centre is funded by MacArthur Foundation.
Mrs Chukwuma disclosed that the N4.5bn was actually meant for the purchase and importation of drugs into the country for the IDPs. But the Minister called up stakeholders in Nigeria’s pharmaceutical sector and ensured that the drugs were manifactured in the country.
According to Chukwuma, that development has changed the system completely as most drugs in circulation in the country are now being manufactured in Nigeria. She said that only those that are really difficult to make in Nigeria are imported.
She added that to ensure that the made in Nigeria drug policy is sustained alongside quality, the government was working on whole sale and distribution centres across the country. She said Lagos, Kano, Aba and Onitsha have been chosen for a start.
She also explained that most of the medicines that were part of Nigeria’s recent relief materials’ support to Sierra Leone, where medicines made in Nigeria.
The minister’s strong push for Nigerian drug makers was part of the reason he was honoured by the CDDDP.
Prof. Adewole was awarded for his strong support for Nigeria’s pharmaceutical sector and his contributions toward improving maternal and child health in Nigeria.
Other contributors to Nigeria’s health care sector who were honoured at the ebvent held at the UI Conference Centre include:
- Wife of Oyo State Governor, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, for her effort in providing easy access to basic medical care through ABC Foundation.
- Former Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, for the laudable health policies of his administration
- The Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon Michael Adeyemo for his role in passing the health care bill in the State.
- The Director General of National Institute of Science Laboratory Technology, Gbdaegeshin Yemi Hezekiah, for his contributions to science and medicine.
- The Committee Chairman on Health in the Senate, Senator Olanrewaju Tejuosho, for his contribution towards reducing counterfeit medicine in Nigeria
- Engineer Aderemi Olaitan, for his philanthropic efforts in the area of health in Nigeria.
- President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Ahmed Yakasai, for his contribution in improving the pharmacy profession in Nigeria.
- Registrar of Pharmacist Council of Nigeria, Elijah Mohammed, for his efforts in improving laws and regulations for access to medicines in Nigeria.
Also present at the event were the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Anthony Elujoba, a professor of Pharmacy; Chief Medical Director of the University College Hospital (UCH), Dr. Temitope Alonge; the Dean of Faculty of Pharamcy, UI, Professor Oluwatoyin Odeku and representative of the Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, Prof. A.I Olayinka.