FDA builds capacity of Rwanda counterparts

The Ghana Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has hosted her Rwanda counterpart led by the Deputy Director General, Madam Umuhoza Martine on on a 5-day study tour.

The visit which started from September 26 to 30 was pursuant to provisions in a Memorandum of Understanding between the institutions.

The study tour forms part of a capacity-building programme aimed at supporting Rwanda FDA in attaining the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Benchmarking Tool (GBT) Maturity Level Three (ML3).

The WHO GBT, which is divided into 4 levels is an instrument to strengthen medical products regulation and promote universal health coverage.

It represents the primary means by which the WHO objectively evaluates regulatory systems.

The Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Health Products and Technologies, Mr Seth Seneake on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Delese Darko, welcomed the Rwanda team and expressed the readiness of the Ghanaian team to share their knowledge and experiences with them.

In April 2020, the Ghana FDA became the second and one of only two countries of WHO African Region’s 47 countries to have attained a Level 3 ranking.

Presentations were made from both Ghana and the Rwandan FDA teams on their scope of operations especially in the areas of Market Authorisation and Pharmacovigilance.

Some of the objectives of the benchmarking visit were to seek learning opportunities to strengthen their technical operations, enhance participant’s knowledge in the enforcement of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), Good Clinical Practices (GCP) and Good Distribution Practices (GDP) as well as the adoption of a risk-based approach to regulatory inspections and laboratory testing.

During the visit, the delegation led by a team from Ghana FDA conducted a GMP inspection at UnichemGhana Limited and Good Distribution Practices and Good Storage Practice inspection at East Cantonments Pharmacy Limited to enhance their knowledge and skills in these regulatory enforcement activities.

At the end of the study tour, Dr Raymond Muganga on behalf of Rwanda FDA expressed gratitude to the Ghana FDA for the warm reception received and the unique learning opportuning the visit had offered.

He added that the team had acquired a lot of knowledge which was expected to build the capacity of Rwanda FDA in preparation towards its attainment of WHO ML3 in the near future.

Speaking on the next steps, Patrick K. Rugambya of the Rwanda team said that following the end of the study tour, a team from Ghana FDA had started to review some of Rwanda FDA’s regulatory tools and is expected to receive comments for considerations.

In addition, Rwanda FDA looks forward to further peer-learning opportunities with a visit from some staff of the FDA Ghana for further coaching and mentorship.

Mr Seneake in his concluding remarks congratulated the delegation for their hard work and dedication towards this exercise.

He said the tour had been of mutual benefit to both regulatory authorities adding that “the FDA looks forward to augmenting this partnership for the advancement of the course of effective continental medicine regulation.

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