By Danjuma Auta
ECWA College of Heath Technology, Kagoro, has recorded another milestone by inducting another set of Pharmacy Technicians.
The graduation, which was the fourth since the programme was introduced eight years ago, had continued to receive accolades from the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria and the Kaduna State Government.
Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Dr. N.A.E. Mohammed, disclosed that the National Pharmaceutical Council Examination (NPCE) which started in 2017 with only 544 students was now graduating over 1375 students from 47 accredited colleges/schools of health technology across the country, adding that the number would continue to increase due to the acceptability of the programme.
According to him, the national pre-certification examination which the students sat for and passed, leads to the award of certified Pharmacists Technician Certificate which is equivalent to the Pharmacy Technician Certificate which is acceptable for direct entry into the Pharmacy programme in approved faculties of pharmacy in Nigerian universities.
Also speaking, the Vice Chairman of the Reformed Forum of Pharmacy Technicians in Nigeria (RFPTN), Comrade Aliyu Isaiah, informed the graduates that their induction was an opportunity to secure jobs with both private and government institutions and assured that the Association was working to rebrand and reposition pharmacy technicians in Nigeria’s healthcare delivery system and the academia so that Nigerians would have more confidence in medicines utilization.
The ECWA Director of Medical Services, Dr. Bitrus Dogonyaro, said that the graduates were now matured to tackle and further their life long education and reminded them to always understand that God’s hands should always be over them if they must succeed in the challenges ahead as, according to him, “In practice, the new Pharmacist/Technician faces complex decision making, sometimes without the guiding hand of a preceptor, has more responsibility and is expected to be politely assertive when a potential drug therapy issue is identified, they you must be prepare to accept responsibility and always act in the best interest of the patients.’’
Guest speaker at the occasion and one-time Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Kaduna State, John Magaji Bulus, stated that over the years, primary health care suffered a lot of neglect in Kaduna State due to the low capacity of governance at the local level and called on government to give priority to most of the reforms being introduced by different bodies, including the PCN.
He however disclosed that the Kaduna State Government had since taken steps towards addressing such gaps and pharmacy technicians could now enroll to serve in that area.
Earlier, the Provost of the college, Mr. Maurice Dagwa, thanked God and the ECWA Executive for supporting the school despite the economic, health and security challenges it had encountered but came out successfully.
He noted that the choice of the theme of the lecture, ‘The role of Pharmacy Technicians in the Revitalization of PHN in Kaduna State’ was deliberate because of the state government’s resolve to reposition pharmacy technicians to work at the various primary health care centers in the state.
He added that the institution was among the two accredited for the pilot phase of the various community regulated drugs distribution outlets in the state which had since undergone the Mandatory Entry Point Training Programme.
The occasion featured presentation of gifts and awards to students who distinguished themselves.