A Nigerian pharmacist trained at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria was recently named one of 31 Fellows of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. She is Pharmacist Sherifat Omowumi Muhammad Kamal. Also on the list is Dr Nkiruka Umaru, a lecturer in the Department of Clinical, Pharmaceutical and Biological Sciences, at the University of Hertfordshire.
Speaking exclusively to AkweyaTV, Pharmacist Sherifat Omowumi Muhammad Kamal said the honour “actually challenges me to do more to inspire future pharmacists and look into more innovative ways to support our patients in medicines optimisations, misuses of drugs and polypharmacy.”
On her recognition, Sherifat told our reporter, “I felt a bit amazed as I wasn’t preparing for this; most of my work and activities weren’t on my CV and not all of them are online as I only do most of those things to support Pharmacy, Pharmacists, our patients and our community. I never knew it’s been watched.”
Sherifat graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria in 1999. She passed her OSPAP (Overseas Pharmacy Assessment Programme), registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) in 2007, and became a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
The honour actually challenges me to do more to inspire future pharmacists and look into more innovative ways to support our patients in medicines optimisations, misuses of drugs and polypharmacy.
Sherifat had her first job as a Pre-registration Pharmacist in an Independent Pharmacy in Lewisham, London, United Kingdom. After her registration with the GPhC, she held numerous appointments as a Locum Pharmacist, Relief Pharmacist, Pharmacist Store Manager, Superintendent Pharmacist, Clinical Pharmacist and Specialist Pharmacist positions in retail pharmacy settings, primary care, and secondary care at numerous NHS Trust.
Sherifat has also held varieties of leadership roles in pharmacy, charities, and healthcare institutions and also as a School Governor with a passion for healthy children and healthy schools.
Pharmacist Sherifat disclosed that she is passionate about pharmacists’ welfare, public health pharmacy, drug misuse, abuse and polypharmacy, the professional name for taking multiple prescribed medicines and the risks and benefits associated with it.
Prior to leaving for the United Kingdom during her Resident Pharmacist position at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Kwara State, Sherifat won the Best Intern and National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) Member of the Year for setting up the Drug and Medicine Information Centre for healthcare professionals and patients to support the use and management of medicines within the hospital. This was the first of its kind and is on record as the pioneer drug and medicines information centre since 2002.
Comparing her experiences between Nigeria and the UK, she said, “Pharmacy is a diverse profession. With diversity in the patients we care for and diversity in the pharmacy workforce, we should share good practice, and research updates across borders and continents. I found it quite heartening as I continually work with PSN (the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria), Kwara State, through the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital. One of such good collaborations is the various talks we had during COVID online to train and support our pharmacists on vaccines and our patients as well.”
Upon getting to the United Kingdom, Sherifat has championed her passion through pharmacist networks, community pharmacies, her founded Overseas Pharmacist (OSPAP) Support Forum Group, the Black African community, the Muslim Community, healthcare institutions, media, community organisations, charities and social media.
Sherifat has also championed and promoted equality, diversity and inclusion within pharmacists, the workplace and in society through her volunteering positions, elected positions and broader populations within the Pharmacy, healthcare institutions and the wider public.
Sherifat believes in everyday learning and has done continuous professional development courses with the College of Pharmacy Post Graduate Education CPPE in Manchester, clinical pharmacy pathways, personal development courses, and a one-year certificate in leading and management in pharmacy. With the Royal Pharmaceutical Society workshops, guidelines etc, Medway School of Pharmacy, and a few others, she just concluded a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health, Leadership and Management with the University of Sheffield.
The mother of five married to Muhammad Adeniyi Kamaldeen Al Adabiyy is also a winner of the MCB 2018 Excellence in Women’s Award for her selfless services to Muslim women in Britain. The MCB is a non-profit organisation that focuses on women’s health, parenting personal development and women’s empowerment through their workshops, seminars, conferences and social media activities. In 2022, Sherifat through her work in medicines support, management, optimisation, social work services and the COVID-19 support programme in partnership with other pharmacists, organisations & other healthcare professionals, Sherifat won the National BAME and Healthcare 2022 Award for outstanding contributions to social care.
The announcement of 31 new Fellows brings the total number of Royal Pharmaceutical Society Fellows to 806.
Dr Nkiruka Umaru, the NHS’s East of England regional lead for the pharmacist foundation training programme, was honoured by the Pharmaceutical Journal as one of the Women to Watch 2021.
According to the University of Hertfordshire website, “Nikkie’s research interests include patient and medication safety and medicines optimisation in vulnerable patient groups across the healthcare interface. She is also interested in healthcare professionals’ and patients’ perspectives on healthcare service delivery and provision.”