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Enugu: The Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and member representing Aninri/Awgu/Oji River federal constituency, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, on Thursday, was conferred with an award of excellence from the Pharmacy department of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital  (UNTH), Ituku Ozalla, for his outstanding services rendered to the institution.

The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the teaching hospital, Dr. Obinna Onodugo presented the award to Okechukwu on behalf of the pharmacy department during the groundbreaking ceremony of the pharmacy house which was attracted by him.

Onodugo who thanked and appreciated the lawmaker for his giant strides said his constituency stands tall as an epitome of good governance and efficient representative.

“The people of Aninri, Awgu and Orji River constituency are  indeed blessed for having such a young, dynamic, resourceful, accessible and responsive gentleman as their representative.

“The groundbreaking of the pharmacy house we are doing today is the first of its kind in Nigeria and was attracted by Honourable Toby and he has been at the top making sure the project continues and is completed,” he said.

Onodugo during the  presentation of the award, added that the pharmacy and the entire teaching hospital have seen  Okechukwu’s vibrancy “and today we found him worthy to confer him with the award of excellence in outstanding  services he has rendered and still rendering to the institution.”

Responding to this, Okechukwu who highlighted how he came about attracting the pharmacy  house building, said it was as a result of the good works done by the department of pharmacy during the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. “When they produced a very good hand sanitizer for me, it was tested and trusted so I then believed that if they are given more opportunities, they would produce other things that can be of help to all.

“It is also to create an enabling environment for the pharmacists to practice their trade and to contribute to the community.

“More importantly, my expectations is that they get involved in most of the activities they promised like the conferencing, hospitality and manufacturing so that they will be able to employ people.

He also appreciated the CMD of the teaching hospital, describing him as a labour man who is always ready to work. He stated that Dr Onodugo demonstrated his  labour qualities by consulting  all the stakeholders he needed to consult and sought for their help, adding, “that is what is yielding this progress today in the hospital. It is when you make known your problem to people that is when it can be solved.”

Also speaking at the event, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, the National President of Pharmaceuticals Society of Nigeria, thanked Hon. Okechukwu whom he said God has used to attract the project to the institution.

“I thank Hon. Okechukwu  whom God has used to attract this significant project to this great institution. Indeed they say when the righteous is on the throne, the people rejoice. That is why we are rejoicing today.

“This Pharmacy house is a significant one and first of its kind in Nigeria. This is where the pharmacists will exhibit and demonstrate all the country has invested in this category of profession.

“Pharmacists often are not seen in the hospitals, they are hidden behind counters, behind rooms but this will project them because it will show their capabilities and capacities in terms of doing what they call compounding or hospital manufacturing. So they are not going to depend on imported products or drugs they buy from pharmacy companies, they can produce in the institution pharmacy house for the institution what they need  with specific need of a patient in mind, exemperanous preparations of drugs that will be made specifically for patients, we don’t have it here  sometimes you’re given the wrong dose because there is already a packed dose.

“This will give them the opportunity to manufacture  some certain products that are readily available that are used in the hospital community, drugs and medicaments that are specific for this environment.

“This, he also stated, will be an opportunity to create additional income to supply  other services to the hospital  and demonstrate pharmaceutical care to their patients, to interract with patients as to know which drugs to use,” he stated.

The pharmacy house which is already at the decking level is expected to be completed and commissioned by next year and it includes an auditorium for conferencing, hospitality suites offices and manufacturing units.

Dignitaries present at the eveAT include a representative of Vice Chancellor of UNN, Professor Nwagha, the Provost of college of medicine, Heads of departments, the Dean of faculty of medicine, Cajetan Chigozie Onyedum, the state secretary of PDP, Chief Cletus Akalusi, Dr Godwin Udeuhele, Former Enugu State Commissioner for Information, Chief Barr. Eze O. Eze, Former Permanent Secretary Enugu Government House, Chief Ralph Onovo, Aide to former Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, Former Commissioner for Special Duties, Chief Uche Anioke, Chief Egwuonwu Obasi, Former Secretary Awgu local government, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, President General Ohanaeze Youth Council worldwide.

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