Chemists seek greater involvement in health sector

The Registrar, Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria, Mr. Jay Oghifo, has urged the government to redefine the roles of chemists in the development of the health sector.

Oghifo, who made this call at the 7th Fellowship/Induction ceremony of the institute in Lagos, said the Federal Government must reposition the professional identity and importance of chemists and scientists in the country.

He said, “We should reposition to become a major responder in the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan even as chemists have been recognised as the critical pre-requisite in the attainment of the transformation process.

“October 12 this year, an expert committee was instituted by the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, and he emphasised the role of chemists in the realisation of the goals of the transformation agenda. Government is taking the issue of re-organising the education sector and the institute should turn around the teaching of chemistry as it is learned and practised.”

He, however, noted that the event was a significant step and a professional landmark in the institute, which would help in the actualisation of building chemists that would meet up with the 21st century.

He added, “We have the responsibility to turn it around. It begins with acquiring knowledge before applying it. There is really the need for review of the curricula and to put chemistry into proper perspective.

The immediate input is to see people in the industry come on to reposition the profession and contribute to the well being of the nation. The move would ultimately produce chemistry graduates who are relevant to the needs of the 21st Century.

“Being inducted does not make you professional chemists as such. It makes you trainee professional chemists. A chemist is a molecular architect. Our calling goes beyond identifying atoms and molecules. These are just tools we use in understanding the family structure of atoms and molecules.

“Our job is more about persuading atoms and molecules to marry and raise molecular families. In the process we make and break bonds and this is just what the transformation agenda is all about.”

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