Old Pharmacy graduates of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) from different walks of life recently stormed the Ile-Ife campus of the university to celebrate the centenary anniversary of the Faculty.
The university, then University of Ife, was also the only university in the country awarding the degree of Bachelor of Pharmacy till 1971.
Under the aegis of the Great Ife Pharmacy Alumni Association (GIPAA), the umbrella body of all pharmacists that have graduated from the university, the old students also performed the sod breaking ceremony for its proposed ultra modern Pharmacy students hostel at the university’s new student hostel site
Welcoming guests and members from different parts of the world, GIPAA Global Chairman, Pharm. Otunba Olalekan Asuni said the overall goal of the association is to create a global community of Great Ife Pharmacy for excellent teaching and learning experience in the Faculty.
He pledged the association’s resolve to deploy its global network to “galvanize our members to see how we can add tremendous value to the Faculty in terms of attracting scholars and mobilizing grants for research and other scholastic endeavours from now
“Laboratory and drug manufacturing equipment that can be sourced from both institutional and industrial landscapes will be brought into Ife to change our narrative from just a centre of theoretical training to a Centre of Excellence in Pharmacy Education.
“Consequently, GIPAA will be setting up a very high octane Alumni Team that will comprise of both in Nigeria and Diaspora to begin the process of fashioning out globally where equipment for our labs and the DRPU can be sourced and facilitators that can upgrade our Faculty will be sourced in order to keep adding value to the experience at the Faculty.”
Asuni also assured students in the Faculty that the association would continue to assist them to ensure a conducive learning environment for them.
“For the students at the Faculty, let me assure everyone that for your generation, it’s a good time to be a student in the Faculty of pharmacy. GIPAA is ready to go to the ends of the earth to ensure that your training in Ife is upgraded and you are provided with the tools you require like it was 30-40 years ago. We will be there for everyone, going forward,” he pledged.
The GIPAA Global Chairman disclosed that the Alumni body came into force since the golden jubilee anniversary of the Faculty in 2013 though it has been attempting to be part of the rehabilitation work in the Faculty, long before then.
A major highlight of the centenary anniversary was the keynote address by an old student Prof Toyin Tofade, a distinguished Scholar and president, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, USA.
Titled “Evolving digital innovations: New opportunities for the Practice and Business of Pharmacy”, Prof. Tofade discussed the evolvement of the pharmacy profession globally from the days where compounding and sale of drugs, sometimes along with other non medical commodities often stocked to attract patronage were the norm to a gradual shift to patient-focus service, clinical pharmacy and the emergence of digital pharmaceutics drug deliveries with bots and drones among other innovations