NTERVIEW: Meet Adeyinka Adebowale ISHOLA, the second Director of Pharmaceutical Services to be appointed by the Board of Management of University College Hospital, Ibadan at its meetings in July 2020.
Adeyinka holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Ile-Ife, Osun State, a Masters Degree in Pharmaceutics from the University of Ibadan and a Doctorate Degree in Pharmacology from the University of Benin, Benin City. A fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacy, Adeyinka is a distinguished service award winner of Hospital Pharmacy in Nigeria.
He speaks about his career and how his leadership seeks to redefine the face of Pharmaceutical Services in the University College Hospital (UCH).
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR APPOINTMENT SIR, YOU ARE THE 11TH HEAD OF DEPARTMENT AND THE SECOND DIRECTOR OF PHARMACEUTICAL SERVICES TO BE APPOINTED BY THE BOARD OF MANAGEMENT, CAN YOU TELL THE UCH COMMUNITY SOME OF YOUR ANTECEDENTS IN THE HOSPITAL SINCE YOU BEGAN YOUR CAREER AS A PHARMACIST?
On the 8th of January 1992 I joined the Hospital as a Pharmacist; I rose through the ranks to become a deputy director on the 1st of July 2007. In the course of my career, I have been able to traverse all the units of the department and this has vastly enhanced my knowledge and experience. Apart from my core role and responsibilities, I was involved in so many other activities and committees set-up by the management the hospital, committees either as Chairman or Member.
One particular project that is dear to my heart is the Venous Thromboembolism Safety Zone. In 2013, the Hospital Management and Pharmacy Department in conjunction with a Pharmaceutical Company Sanofi commenced a programme tagged VENOUS THROMBOSIS SAFETY ZONE in which the hospital patients will be free from diseases. Sensitization workshop was organized within the UCH community about Venous Thromboembolism (VTE). The level of awareness was minute when we started but today we have been able to sensitize, mobilize and involve all other healthcare professionals about the dangers of VTE. It is a silent killer just like hypertension.
I am also involved in Palliative Care for terminally ill patients under the Hospice and Palliative Care headed by Prof. Mrs. Olaitan Soyannwo. I was deeply involved in that project to the extent that I was sent to a renowned Cancer Center in Houston Texas to go and learn about Palliative Care and Rehabilitative Medicine at MD Anderson Cancer in United State of America. To add to this, American Cancer Society came to UCH to educate us about the use of Morphine to alleviate pain for terminally ill patients like those suffering from cancer and I was chosen as a resource person for the programme. It was tagged “Treat the Pain Initiative of American Cancer Society”.
While we trained the whole community to be aware about the use of Morphine for management of pains, our activities during this period enabled us to have pain as one of the vital signs to look out for when measuring the wellbeing of admitted patients.
Outside UCH, I am the first Hospital Pharmacist in the history of Oyo State to be the Chairman of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Oyo State Branch and this enabled us to gain more professional visibility as Hospital Pharmacists in Oyo State.
Once upon a time, I was in the manufacturing section of the Hospital where I was involved in the production of pharmaceuticals which distinguished us from other Hospital Pharmacists in the Country. I have also been in involved in the Clinical training of Pharmacists. All these experiences have widened my horizon in the profession and prepared me for this office that I currently occupy. After all, learning does not end in the classroom.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE WAITING TIME FOR PATIENTS WHO GO TO GET DRUGS AT THE HOSPITALS PHARMACY OUTLETS? IS IT A FLEXIBLE PROCESS?
Yes, by all means it is easy to get drugs from our Pharmacy outlets and we are also trying in conjunction with the management to make sure that our drugs are available. One of the good things about getting drugs from our pharmacy in UCH is because of our handling and storage of inventory units. A drug is as good as it is stored, the expiry date written on most drugs shows how much time you have to use it, but some drugs could be expired before the date written on it because of poor storage. In our stores, the air conditioners there run for 24hours and they are solely for the drugs. We have solar refrigerators and freezers for our thermo labile drugs; because we consider that the condition that those drugs viz-a-viz the potency/efficacy but the patient waiting time for drugs is good and we are improving on it.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATE OF PHARMACEUTICAL SERVICES IN THE HOSPITAL AND HOW RESOLUTE ARE YOU IN IMPROVING SERVICE DELIVERY?
The state of Pharmaceutical services is quite good and next to none in the comity of Hospital Pharmacy in Nigeria. On every floors of the Hospital, we have a Pharmacy to bring drugs closer to the patients. We also have satellite Pharmacies that runs 24hrs. Thanks to the present administration that created a cash and carry unit to make it more accessible and patient friendly for patients whereby if patients cant locate a unit in the ward, then they can easily go down to the cash and carry pharmacy and get their drugs. We still need to improve on our attitudinal approach to our patient care. I will make sure that in the wards we deliver quality service to our patients, we do bedside counseling, we started what we call Unit Dose Dispensing System but due to the COVID-19 hiatus, it fizzled out a little but we are going to activate it so that we get close to the bed side of the patients to know their needs and fill their prescriptions accordingly and theyll be able to get their drugs as at when due and be happy for it. This will make patient care accessible in terms of drugs. I also want to make sure that Pharmacists interacts and meaningfully interrelates with all other healthcare professionals in the hospital for the common benefit of the patients.
With the mantra of the current administration in the hospital which is Shared Vision for Excellence ;as one given to this vision, I am envisioned to move Pharmaceutical Care in UCH towards excellence by ensuring that drugs are readily available, not just in quantity but also in quality. I also intend to improve the attitudinal approach of Pharmacists to patients; this is a problem that cuts around all professionals in UCH. When patients come to UCH, they feel they have met with their death sentence, but by Gods grace, when they come to the Pharmacy department, we will make them feel important and at ease. The essence of doing this is also about Total Pharmaceutical Care of patients which is outcome based i.e, Economic, Clinical and Humanistic outcomes. Also we would counsel patients appropriately, ask about the drugs they have used and follow up on them to ensure that their wellbeing is our paramount concern.
THE CHIEF MEDICAL DIRECTOR, PROF. JESSE ABIODUN OTEGBAYO HAS AT DIFFERENT TIMES TALKED ABOUT PROFFERING INWARD LOOKING SOLUTIONS TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. WHAT ROLE HAS THE DEPARTMENT OF PHARMACEUTICAL SERVICES BEEN PLAYING WITH REGARDS TO CURTAILING THE SPREAD OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO THE PRODUCTION OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT LIKE HAND WASHING SOAP AND HAND SANITIZERS?
In this hospital, we are producing all the liquid soaps and hand sanitizers. I want to thank the management for their magnanimity in providing all the materials to expand our manufacturing unit to cope with the situation we are in. With the advent of Covid-19, the management has given us resources to procure the necessary equipment that would enhance our work so that there is no time that we are lacking. Members of the public even come to patronize us because of the quality of what we produce.
ON YOUR WALL, I CAN SEE BEAUTIFUL GROUP PHOTOGRAPHS OF YOUNG INTERN PHARMACISTS WHO I BELIEVE HAVE SERVED THE HOSPITAL OVER THE YEARS. HOW IMPORTANT ARE THESE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN TO SERVICE DELIVERY IN YOUR DEPARTMENT?
Internship training is a mandatory one year experience training to be certified as full fledge Pharmacist. It is so impactful for the interns because the experience they get here is second to none. The one-year internship training is part of their certification and some of them get to define the field or area of Pharmacy that they want to venture into afterward. Their exposure to what we do here also exposes them to Clinical and Pharmaceutical Technology services; so it is a comprehensive experience that prepares them for the future.
ALTHOUGH YOU HAVE RISEN TO THE PEAK OF YOUR CAREER IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE, YOU SEEM LIKE A WELL ACCOMPLISHED PHARMACIST I MUST ADMIT. WHAT INFORMED YOUR CHOICE OF PROFESSION? DO YOU HAVE ROLE MODELS? WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO YOUNGER PHARMACISTS IN THE PROFESSION?
Well, before I started to study Pharmacy, I had an uncle who was a Pharmacist – Daddy Okewusi of Zion Chemist in Ibadan. In those days, we had very few Pharmacists. Whenever we got to see my uncle at the Pharmacy, I loved the way he used to attend to us and since then I decided that if I ever wanted a Profession, it would be this. It has not been easy but the grace of God has kept me thus far. My advice to younger and aspiring Pharmacists is that a rolling stone gathers no moss, they need to stay focused, be determined, and be well grounded in areas that they have passion for. The reward for consistency comes when choosing the area one wants to focus on.
ANY MESSAGE FOR THE HOSPITAL MANAGEMENT?
God has helped them to do this much and they have been very open to listening to suggestions and opinions. I plead that they listen to us when we give constructive criticism so that it would help the system.