Fulbright Senior Scholar Program
Visit and Lecture/Seminar Series
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State Nigeria
February 7 – February 24, 2009
Arrival: My travel commenced on Saturday, February 7, 2009 from Pittsburgh, PA and I arrived in Lagos, Nigeria (the economic capital) on Sunday, February 8. I had a brief stop in Lagos on that day to arrange for a local cell phone and internet service that I could use at Ile-Ife, Osun State (located ~170 miles from Lagos) where Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU). There is only one internet service provider that has services in Ile-Ife aside from the intra-net service that is limited to the academic buildings of the university. Ile-Ife is situated in the South-West of Nigeria. It is an ancient city, the ancestral home and originating city of the Yoruba people (Yoruba’s) who are about 45 million in population. Majority of the Yorubas (about 35-40 millions) live in Nigeria; others are scattered in Benin Republic and Togo, countries located west of Nigeria on the West African coast. I hailed from Ifewara, another ancient town located 9 miles from Ile-ife.
Monday, February 9: I arrived at OAU on Monday, February 9. I was met by the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy (Professor Orafidiya) and Head of Department (HOD) of Pharmaceutics (Dr. Yodeled). Later that day, I had a meeting with the Dean, HOD and the Faculty Seminar Coordinator (Dr. Agbedahunsi) to plan the lecture/seminar Series. I had realized earlier upon arrival that my flash disk holder (containing multiple disks) that I used during the flight was lost. It had many documents including my OAU lectures. It was a bad bump at the beginning of the visit but I learnt a lesson to always take one flash disk on an oversea travel instead of carrying the usual documents/software around. Therefore, after the meeting on Monday, I called my office in USA for some of the files on the lost disks to be sent to me. There was power failure that evening on the University campus including the guest house that I was staying. However, after learning (around 10 pm) that there was power in the Faculty of Pharmacy, I went there to get my notes ready for the following day, and was there till early hours of the morning.
Lecture Series: Tuesday, February 10: The lecture series started with the Part IV students on drug product formulation and development and the importance to public health. It continued with the part V (final year) students the following day on the same note but with emphasis on current good manufacturing practices and development of quality drug products for the public. The lecture series which ended on Friday, February 20, (10 hours total) underscored the role of the drug product manufacturer in protection of the health of the public. This couldn’t be overemphasized considering the recent deaths of over 80 children in Nigeria that were given “My Pikin”, a liquid formulation used for teething problems in children. The liquid preparation was allegedly tainted with the poison, a chemical called diethylene glycol. I plan to return to conduct a workshop on Impact of Excipient Variability, Quality-by-design Approach in Drug Product Manufacturing on Public Health.
Meetings and Seminar with Faculty and Administration: A meeting was held with the HODs and the Dean on February 11 that was very interactive. Various topics including research collaboration between my university and OAU, involvement of students and faculty in international conferences students, faculty and administration assessment and evaluation were discussed. I underscored the importance of investing in our students in preparation for continuity in academic and clinical practices in the future, modifying the teaching pedagogy to make students more of active learners instead of just recipients. I presented a seminar to faculty and senior year students on Wednesday, February 12. The title was “Drug-Excipient Interaction and Implications in Dosage Form Development”. The emphasis was on importance of making quality products in an effort to protect the public and the consumer.
A series of meetings took place on Monday, February 16. The first was with the Director of Linkages and Sponsored Research, Professor Adediran at his Office. The office fosters linkages with institutions, locally and globally, mainly in Europe and the United States of America as a means of enriching the university curricula, promoting research and generating funds. Through the interaction, a memorandum of understanding will be developed and signed by Duquesne University and Obafemi Awolowo University. The second meeting was with the Director of Centre for Gender and Social Policy Studies, Professor Abiose where a lively discussion took place regarding women and careers in academia.
Later on in the evening on February 16, I had a meeting with the Dean and Professor Ehrun, the Head of the Department of Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Administrative Science to continue the discussion on the proposed Nigeria Clinical Pharmacy Certificate.
Graduate and senior Undergraduate Seminar: I presented a seminar to the about 200 students later in the afternoon on Monday, February 16. The focus of the seminar was on “How to form an American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists student chapter” and “Getting ready for the joint 2010 International Pharmaceutical Federation’s Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress and the AAPS”. Small groups of students also met with me for question and answer sessions.
Reception: A reception, organized by the Linkages Office of the university, was held for me on Thursday, February 19.
Meeting with Vice-President (Academic) took place on Friday, February 20. We discussed extensively on issues such as:
- Research Collaboration and Exchange of Faculty and Students
- Certificate in Clinical Pharmacy Program
- Library Resources and Exchange
- Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with former institution, Duquesne University
Departure: I travelled back to the USA on Tuesday, February 24, 2009. I am obligated to set questions for the students for the mid-session tests and the final end of session exams in July. Because the need is great in Nigeria, a serial visit would have take taken care of the completion of the activities in the host university.
See pictures taken during the trip at Google Picasa link