Proper packaging of drugs will save kids’ lives

General News of Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Source: Joy Online

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Health is asking the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to come up with guidelines on how to package, label and store drugs in light of the harm improperly packaged drugs can cause to children.

This follows a JOY FM Hotline Documentary, ‘Toxic Beverages’, which exposed how children were dying through drinking toxic substances and taking drugs overdoses.

In the documentary a paediatric specialist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Dr. Justice Sylvaken, called on Parliament to come up with specific laws that will protect children.

Dr. Sylvaken suggested the mandatory use of child-proof containers for drugs that are particularly harmful to children.

He observed that in other countries, there are clear laws that spell out the type of containers manufacturers must use for packaging, and hence it was about time Ghana followed in that path.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, Joseph Yieleh Chireh, said that the doctor’s call was timely.

He said he wanted action from the FDA now, saying this will enable the House come up with specific laws that will protect children.

According to Yieleh Chireh, the large illiterate Ghanaian population makes having such a law very important.

He called on the FDA to bring a Legislative Instrument, incorporating the ideas Dr. Sylvaken has suggested to guide pharmaceutical companies, distributors and everyone who handles medicines, particularly guidelines in relation to child safety.