The chairman of Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi says the novel coronavirus is fueling fear among a section of the Nigerian population.
Adelusi-Adeluyi, therefore, called for collective efforts to address the fear as well as the various conspiracy theories surrounding the viral disease.
According to the World Health Organisation, the world faces a challenge of an overabundance of information related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It stated that some of the information may be false and potentially harmful.
COVID-19 information, WHO said, also has the potential to spread fast thereby making it more difficult for the public to identify verified facts and advice from trusted sources such as their local health authority or the WHO.
In his keynote address at a virtual inauguration of NAPharm Committee on COVID-19, held in collaboration with Nigerian Guild of Editors on Tuesday, Adelusi-Adeluyi urged pharmacists to take advantage of opportunities presented by the pandemic.
“We need to tackle the issues; that COVID-19 is real and that it is propelling the fear factor among a section of the population.
“COVID-19 is a crisis and we have been exposed to it, but we must not let the opportunity waste away because this is our chance to break new grounds.
The academy’s COVID-19 special committee was made up of pharmaceutical professionals, associations, researchers and academia.
Adelusi-Adeluyi charged the newly inaugurated body to live up to its billing.
He stated that their core responsibility was to examine the facts and myths surrounding COVID-19 pandemic, get the public properly informed and provide the way forward on the key issues.
“Pharmacists have a role to play and have to be seen as playing that role, and one way to penetrate the public is to bring issues to the media.
“We also need to look at the various conspiracy theories surrounding the virus and how we need to involve all in a national discussion about vaccination.
“We strongly believe that much more can be achieved together if we pull resources together in such a way that we amplify the good and debunk the bad,” he said.
Applauding the initiative, Vice President of NAPharm, Ifeanyi Atueyi, stressed that the academy which was birthed on June 26, 2014, has contributed immensely to some milestones in the overall health delivery value chain in the country.
“NAPHARM, which started with 47 members, was established to promote scientific research and professional development in the health and pharmaceutical sectors to overcome challenges posed by sicknesses and diseases, and to fast-track social and economic development in Nigeria,” he said.
Atueyi maintained that in those years, the academy has facilitated reforms in the tertiary institutions, held a pharmacy education summit and provided mentoring and guidance to young pharmacists on a broad spectrum.
NAPharm, he said, currently have 82 members.
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