Written by Tom Obaseki.

Yes, Welcome to 2009. Yes, Most of us Pharmacists are usually always pushed to the peak of professional counselling during end of year celebrations. Christmas and New Year celebrations are supposed to be periods for stock taking and sober reflections. Unfortunately, it is now associated with high level of promiscuity, infidelity and unprecedented high level of sexual activities.

It is not unusual to find most Pharmacists overwhelmed with demand for condoms, aphrodisiacs and ‘Postinor-2.’

For the group of condom seekers and users, our problem is usually half solved as they already appreciate the challenges of sexuality and are already taking steps to practise safe Sex.

A new development that however characterised the last festivities was the strong demand for aphrodisiacs like never before. While the men wanted to boost their strength and power, the females were desperately seeking for medicinal enhancement to prove a point by satisfying their men in order to impress them.

But then, the highest professional counselling requirement was certainly from the group that used Postinor 2. Postinor 2 belongs to the class of emergency contraceptive indicated for people that engage in infrequent sexual intercourse to prevent pregnancy.

This group usually start turning out at the pharmacies from Christmas day after the merriment’ and revelling of the Christmas Eve. The demand for the contraceptive usually peaks on Boxing Day. Over the years this group have grown in number and is populated almost, by females of different age groups.

This year, the below 30years bracket seems to have taken the lead within this group on the demand spectrum. This is where the problem really lies. This group is made up of young girls who are sexually naive and their only fear in a relationship with the opposite sex is unwanted pregnancy.

The ever increasing number of this group suggests to us that the message of safe sex may just be hitting the rocks and not getting home.

Outside these sexuality group are those general fun seekers who over indulge in everything eatable with their mouths. They take every drink and eat every food available. Do you blame them? No, food and drinks are just in abundance. From afternoon on Christmas, they start trooping into pharmacies with complaints manifesting as indigestion and/or diarrhoea. Unfortunately, they are too quick to self medicate by asking for Flagyl Thalazole and Tetracycline when what they need is just an ant-diarrhoea. This is usually the time that most Pharmacies, run out of stock of Antacids and Andrews Liver salt.

What is the lesson for the season? It appears there is no better time and season to emphasis campaigns on sexuality, HIV/AIDS and STDs than the days leading to festivities like Christmas. Non Government Organisation, (NGO’s) and appropriate government and private agencies involved in projects in these areas will achieve so much success if such campaigns started in November and peaks toward the Christmas and New Year celebrations the effect would be better felt in the target group.


After a series of frustrating efforts to join Nigeria’s mainstream banking industry’s ATM revolution through the Quickcash platform, the management of Afribank Plc has made a turn around to embrace the Interswitch platform.

Banking industry observers opined that it took Afribank a while to conclude arrangement to start offering its customers the convenience of banking through Automated Teller Machine (ATM) but when it eventually decided to issue customers access to banking services through ATM cards, it became a naughty and frustrating experience.

“Most often, we could not access our accounts through the bank’s ATM. It was really frustrating especially during the Christmas period when, I am very sure, all customers could not withdraw money from their accounts through ATMs even in those installed in Afribank branches.

Fortune&Class cross checks in the bank, however, revealed that the frustration arising from the use of the bank’s ATM card was directly attributable to the QuickCash ATM protocol platform that they opted for as against the Interswitch platform that most banks are connected to.

“Now, we are the wiser,” source in the bank said. “The bank has officially moved from the QuickCash platform to InterSwitch which seems to be more effective. Cards are being issued to staffers of the bank to test run the migration, I am very sure that in the next few weeks new cards may be reissued to customers,” the source explained.