UNILAG pharmacy student wins Young Talents Award 2020
Final year student of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Adeleke Adekanle, has emerged the best pharmacy brain in Nigeria, winning the 2020 edition of Shalina Young Talents Award (SYTA).
Adekanle beat 700 other students from the University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University (Ife), Ahmadu Bello University (Zaria) and University of Nigeria (Nsukka), who entered for the fierce competition described as the biggest hunt for the best pharmacy brain in Nigeria.
The students from some of Nigeria’s top Universities battled for the coveted title in the grand finale of the competition held in Lagos. The event involved quizzes, debates, case studies and viva among a host of other criteria to select the eventual winner. In the end, Olarenwaju Israel of Obafemi Awolowo University and Esther Olukorode of the University of Ibadan successfully emerged as the first and second runner-up, respectively.
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director, Shalina Healthcare Nigeria Limited, Somnath Malakar, said the second edition of the competition has been improved on as part of the move to recognise the pharmacists’ community as one of an integral part of the healthcare system in Nigeria.
“We kept our promise of making the second edition bigger; we went to five universities as compared to three last year. We had about 700 students apply, after the five zonal rounds in each of the universities, where over 100 students appeared for different rounds and finally the top three finalists emerged,” he said.
Malakar said, considering the growing need for improved healthcare infrastructure and practitioners in Nigeria, the company acknowledges the importance of grooming young talented students, who would eventually contribute their bit to the profession.
“This is an attempt to groom these students so that they go on to become better pharmacists and contribute to society at large. As the overall healthcare system improves, it would not only benefit us but also every other stakeholder within the healthcare ecosystem.”
Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Moyosore Adejumo, commended the initiative, noting that it will improve the knowledge and soft skills of the students especially their presentation and communication skills, which are important to function in national and international spheres.
She said the students performed brilliantly and raised valid points during the competition, clearly emphasizing the presence of excellent up-coming pharmacy minds across the country.
In his remarks, President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, commended the organisers for their steadfastness, commitment and consistency in organizing the competition for the second year in a row.
Represented by the National Chairman, Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN), Kingsley Chiedu Amibor, he said in addition to an improvement in the second edition of the competition in terms of more schools participation, the initiative has also shown that it is for the improvement and growth of the pharmacy profession, as well as the healthcare system in Nigeria.
“There’s an obvious improvement from last year, especially as the students raised their performance bar, showing that they are willing to take on the pharmaceutical industry and improve it.”
The National Chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Samuel Adekola, said the competition has improved significantly, as it will help enhance the young pharmacists in their profession.