Bhubaneswar, Sept. 25: The importance of pharmacists in the healthcare system was underscored at a program organised to celebrate World Pharmacists’ Day at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital on Sunday.

            “Pharmacists perform a critical role in the healthcare system and they played a huge role in the treatment of patients when the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world,” Ms. Saswati Das, Vice-President of Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SOA), who was the chief guest on the occasion, said.

            Pharmacists have to unite to ensure a healthier world, she said while congratulating them for their relentless battle against the pandemic.

            The World Pharmacists’ Day is observed every year on September 25 — the foundation day of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) — as per the decision taken at the World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Istanbul, Turkey, in 2009.

            Prof. Ashok Kumar Mahapatra, Vice-Chancellor of SOA, who attended as the chief speaker, said the pharmacist was one of the pillars of the healthcare system.

            Describing the ‘Veda’ as the oldest science, he said Ayurveda was part of ‘Atharba Veda’ which was written in 2800 BC. But the world today needs lot of research so that new medicines could be invented to tackle new diseases.

            “While three-fourth of the tuberculosis patients in the world were found in India, many of these afflicted persons suffered from drug-resistant tuberculosis for which new drugs need to be invented,” he said.

            Prof. Sudam Chandra Si, Dean of SOA’s School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (SPS), who also addressed the program, elaborated on the theme of this year’s World Pharmacists’ Day—United in Action for a Healthier World.

Prof. (Dr.) Sanghamitra Mishra, Dean of IMS and SUM Hospital, described pharmacy as a 24×7 emergency service while saying that pharmacists played an important role in critical care. Prof. (Dr.) Pusparaj Samantasinhar, Medical Superintendent of the hospital, also hailed the contribution of pharmacists to the healthcare industry.

Dr. Jasmin Panda, Head of the Department of Pharmacy in the hospital, led the pharmacists in taking the Pharmacy Oath while eight pharmacists chosen as Employees of the Year for 2021-22 were felicitated on the occasion. The program was jointly organised by SOA Pharmacy and SUM Pharmacy in collaboration with Odisha State Branch of Indian Hospital Pharmacist Association (IHPA) and NSS Unit of SPS.

 Prizes were also distributed to winners of various competitions held earlier including rangoli, mehendi, essay writing and a cricket match among the pharmacists.

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