Stakeholders launch Pan-African Pharmacovigilance Conference in Accra

Accra, May 17, GNA – The World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Advocacy and Training in Pharmacovigilance (WHO-CC), University of Ghana, has hosted a media encounter in Accra, as a prelude to a Pan-African congress on Medicines Safety in Ghana.

The event is scheduled for November 25- November 27 and is opened to stakeholders in medicines safety across the world. Already a number of leading world experts in pharmacovigilance have confirmed their participation.

The media event, which took place at the weekend, was attended by high level officials from stakeholders including: Food and Drugs Authority -Ghana (FDA), WHO-Switzerland, World Bank – Washington DC, United States Agency for International Development, Tanzania Food and Drug Authority and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

The rest were: National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Nigeria, Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS), US, European and Development Countries Clinical Trials Partnership and the East African Community.

The event to be hosted in conjunction with the FDA is the 2nd African Society of Pharmacovigilance Conference.

Ghana was selected as the host country for the prestigious event in view of the country’s remarkable leadership in the safety of medicines and vaccines.

The conference was supposed to have taken place in Accra last year, but was postponed due to the Ebola outbreak in the West African Sub-Region.

Dubbed: ‘ASoP-2015,’ the conference would be held at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel on the theme: ‘Pharmacovigilance in Africa: New Methods, New Opportunities, New Challenges,’ under the leadership of Ms Hilda Haggar Ampadu, Chairperson of the Organising Committee and Deputy-Director of the WHO-CC.

Ms Mimi Darko, Acting Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Clinical Trials and Safety Monitoring at the Foods and Drugs Authority (FDA), lauded the new Public Health Safety Act (Act 851) promulgated in 2012, which was aimed at facilitating pharmacovigilance.

This she said was important to ensure the safety of medicines and vaccines and push the capacity of the FDA to monitor the efficacy of drugs covering malaria, tuberculosis and HIV and AIDS.

Ms Darko said the Act was a dream come true since the WHO pushed for the promotion of pharmacovigilance 10 years ago.

Dr Margaret Ndomondo-Sigonda of NEPAD, Mr Francis Aboagye-Nyame of SIAPS, Rd. Andreas Seiter of the World Bank and Dr Shanthi Narayan Pal of the WHO acclaimed the conference as the step in the right direction to promote pharmacovigilance, which was once considered a luxury in Africa.

They all arrived at a consensus that pharmacovigilance was about the safety of medicines to prevent death and help in the fight against infectious diseases like HIV and AIDS as well as non-communicable diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes.

More than 500 participants from Africa and beyond are expected to take part in the conference.

Development partners including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Uppsala Monitoring Centre and ECOWAS, are expected at the conference.

The local organisers are Creative Trends, a Ghanaian company with experience in organising global scientific conferences.

GNA


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