In furtherance of its capacity building initiatives to help address factors affecting the optimal provision of pharmaceutical services at Nigerian Air Force (NAF) medical facilities, the NAF Medical Services Branch has commenced a week-long step-down training on inventory and warehouse management for its pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. The training, which was conceived out of the need to extend the skills acquired by the medical personnel who participated in Inventory and Warehouse Management Training in South Africa in January 2020, kicked off today, 9 November 2020, at the NAF School of Medical Sciences and Aviation Medicine (NAFSMSAM) Kaduna, with 41 participants, comprising 27 pharmacists and 14 pharmacy technicians from across NAF medical facilities, in attendance.
In his opening remarks at the training workshop, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Chief of Staff, Air Training Command (AOC ATC), Kaduna, Air Commodore Abraham Adole, described how the COVID-19 Pandemic caught many healthcare facilities unprepared without stock of necessary emergency medical supplies such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies. This, according to him, underscores the importance of holding a reasonable stock of life saving medical items, which could be readily deployed during health emergencies, in storage. The CAS noted that, over the years, the NAF maintained a Central Medical Store for medical items and consumables at the premises of 643 Equipment Supply Depot Ikeja. "However, this important medical warehouse was out of use for more than 10 years. In recognition of the significance of the medical warehouse, I recently directed its reactivation with relevant personnel posted to man it. In addition, I have just approved the complete renovation of the Central Medical Store in order to upgrade it to a medical grade storage facility”, he added.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief of Medical Services (CMS), Air Commodore Gideon Bako, who was represented by the Director, Professions Allied to Medicine (DPAM), Headquarters NAF, Group Captain David Babalola, while appreciating the CAS, for approving the conduct of the training, stated that the skills acquired by the participants would be brought to bear in NAF medical facilities to the benefit of its personnel, their families and other patients. He therefore charged all the participants to accord the required level of seriousness to the training so that the knowledge gained would translate to marked improvement in the quality of pharmaceutical services in the NAF. He further disclosed that pharmacists’ responsibilities have shifted over the years from product-focused to patient-oriented approach through robust skills in pharmaceutical care and Medication Therapy Management.