FDA inaugurates lab in Tema

Ms. Mensah(left) commissioning the lab. With her are Dr. Ohene ( second from left) and Mrs. Darko

Ms. Mensah(left) commissioning the lab. With her are Dr. Ohene ( second from left) and Mrs. Darko

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has inaugurated a mini laboratory here to test the quality and safety of imported chicken, drugs and beverages before being allowed onto the market.


The state-of-the-art laboratory uses quick test methods to determine results in a day or two, as compared to the authority’s laboratory in Accra which takes between six weeks and a month under the standard operating procedure.


The facility estimated at GH¢450,000.00 has a hatch incubator, weighing balance, vortex mixer, centrifuge, dry bath, stomacher circulator, GPF drug test kit ( mini laboratory) for undertaking micro biological analysis to detect salmonella, E.coli and  listeria, as well as test for antimalarial, antimicrobial and anti-retroviral drugs.


Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of FDA, Mrs Delese Darko, said the mini laboratory was aimed at facilitating trade at the Tema port by fast-tracking the clearing of products and to bridge the gap in the regulation quality testing through quick test methods.


According to her, the FDA’s quality control laboratory had the highest scope of accreditation to ISO 17025(2015) on the African continent, South of the Sahara adding, that the mini laboratory would be adopting these same standards to achieve the best results for public good.


She thanked the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia for the introduction of the paperless clearance system and also the inclusion of the FDA to (the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority and Ghana Standards Authority) to carry out joint inspection at the port, which had necessitated the establishment of the mini laboratory at the Tema port.


The FDA is mandated by the Public Health Act 2012, Act 851, to ensure that all food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, household chemicals and tobacco products either locally manufactured or imported into the country are of good quality and safe for users.


However over the years the authority had been criticised by the public on the way activities at the ports were carried out, which they believed led to  the entering of unregistered and unwholesome products unto the market.


“Data available to the FDA indicates that the introduction of the paperless and joint inspection management information system at the Tema port has brought about an overwhelming increase in the number of consignments inspected by the Authority on daily basis,” Mrs Darko said.


She said the laboratory would be manned by competent technical officers to randomly test sampled regulated products as well as products of suspicious nature to ascertain their quality and safety before being allowed onto the Ghanaian market.


The Deputy Minister of Health, Ms Tina Mensah, described the setting up of the laboratory as a great move by the authority toward carrying out its mandate and therefore cautioned the FDA not to let the laboratory become a white elephant.


She urged the FDA to maintain the high standards it had set so as to sustain the confidence reposed in it by the general public.


Head of Standard at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Michael Senayah, was happy that the proximity of the laboratory would help undertake quick conformity assessment as compared to previously when samples were sent to Accra.


The Chief Revenue Officer Customs Laboratory Unit, Eric Koko, commended the FDA for establishing the laboratory which he said would reduce clearing time.


The chairman of the Governing Board of FDA, Dr Sammy Ohene, hoped that the authority would maintain the facility well so that it would serve its purpose.


The executive secretary of Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Samson Asaki, suggested that other inspection agencies be allowed to conduct tests at the facility to speed up the clearing process.



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