Nigeria: NAFDAC DG, Marwa, Others To Grace NECCI PR Roundtable In Lagos

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The Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye and Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA); Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd.), and other distinguished personalities will grace the 23nd edition of the NECCI PR Roundtable scheduled for October 27 and 28, 2023 at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos at 10am.

Founder/Convener NECCI PR Roundtable Nkechi Ali-Balogun disclosed that theme of the event is: “Fighting the Scourge of Illicit Trade in the Pharma Industry: The Role of Communication.”

Speaking further, she noted the conference would highlight the role communication plays in curbing the flagrance of drug counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical industry.

“In an increasingly interconnected world, the pharmaceutical industry faces a significant challenge: the rise of illicit trade. Counterfeit drugs, substandard medications, and unauthorized distribution pose serious risks to public health and safety. As stakeholders in this critical sector, we must come together to combat this scourge effectively,” she said.

Specifically, she noted “the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, (NPHDA), said that over 70 percent of medicines being dispensed in Nigeria were sub-standard. About 120,000 Africans die annually, according to Brazzaville Foundation. A lot of Nigerians have been hard hit by this menace.

“According to medical experts, some of the health issues ranging from loss of sight and hearing defects as well as kidney and liver issues are caused by substandard drugs or abuse thereof. Many lives have been lost and some maimed for life.”

Despite counterfeit medicines’ health and safety risks, she observed public awareness of the prevalence and consequences of taking such drugs is lacking.

To this end, she stated the 23rd episode of the roundtable, therefore, seeks to advocate radical and lasting interventions for this problem through strategic informational communication campaigns that focus on attitude change to curtail the global counterfeit medicines market and ensure public health and safety.

She added that public awareness campaigns could empower consumers to recognise counterfeit drugs and make informed choices. “By disseminating information through various channels- such as social media, radio, and community events we can raise awareness about the dangers of illicit pharmaceuticals and more importantly help to bring culprits to book.

“The fight against illicit trade in the pharmaceutical industry requires a multifaceted approach-one that combines communication, regulation, technology, and collaboration. By working together, we can safeguard public health and ensure that patients receive safe and effective medications.” She noted.

Nkechi said other speakers included acting DCG BA Adeniyi, ACG, Nigeria Customs Service; Dere Awosika,  immediate past Chairman, Access Bank; Mbang Femi- Oyewo, Femi Soremekun, Founder/MD Biofem Group and a host of other intellectuals as panelists.

The roundtable continues with a  professional PR programme on lobbying and advocacy the next day with global thought leaders; Olufemi Awoyemi,  CEO & Founder Proshare Nigeria, Bolarinwa Onaolapo, Consultant and Corporate Advisor, FSA Credential Holder (SASB/ IFRS), Lagos State, Nigeria, and Dr. David Mrisho, a lecturer at St. Augustine University, Tanzania.

THE GUARDIAN

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