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CEO of FDA Ghana clinches prestigious award; a testament to excellence in medical products regulation

The Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) of Ghana, Dr. Delese Mimi Darko received the prestigious "Africa’s Medical Products Regulation Achievers Award" during the 6th Biennial Scientific Conference on Medical Products Regulation  in Cairo, Egypt.

This recognition not only celebrates her dedication to the Authority’s commitment to becoming a global centre of regulatory excellence, but also positions the Authority as a formidable leader on the African continent.

The conference organized by AUDA-NEPAD and WHO at the end of 2023 in Cairo, Egypt under the theme "Strengthening regulatory systems for the advancement of local production and increased access to medical products and technologies for Africans” and convened over 300 policymakers, heads of National Regulatory Agencies (NRAs), researchers, manufacturers, and other stakeholders across the African continent to share scientific advances and current best practices in regulatory science disciplines.

The conference also provided a forum to discuss strategies to strengthen regulatory systems, improve access to affordable essential medical products, vaccines and technologies, and catalyse local production of medical products in Africa.

The award acknowledges FDA Ghana as the pioneering NRA to create a Partnerships and International Collaboration Department which is to engage in partnerships with other NRAs, key stakeholders in medicines regulation, development partners, as well as academia.

A central role of the Department is to; (i) facilitate national engagement on the importance of investing in resilient regulatory systems to protect public health and safety; (ii) mobilize critical resources to advance the mandate of the Authority; and (iii) strengthen collaboration with internal and external stakeholders.

Since the creation of the Department, the Authority has trained over 221 regulators and researchers across the continent from sixteen (16) countries, including The Gambia, Senegal, Gabon, Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Tanzania, Uganda, Guinea, Rwanda, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Eswatini, and Botswana.  Additionally, the Authority has contributed to strengthening the regulatory systems of several NRAs across the continent through study tours, mentorship twinning programmes, and customized expert visits.

The Authority has signed a few Memorandums of Understanding with 6 NRAs mapping out several areas of collaboration and is currently actively engaged with 5 other NRAs, including El Salvador and Madagascar, in the pipeline.

Under the guidance of the Department, the Authority in collaboration with partners and academia organized its first Scientific Forum Under the theme “Protecting Public Health and Safety Through Partnerships”.

Recently, the AUDA-NEPAD designated the FDA Ghana as a Regional Centre of Regulatory Excellence (RCORE) for Vaccine Regulatory Oversight for eight (8) out the nine (9) regulatory functions.

The FDA was designated by AUDA-NEPAD as a RCORE for Marketing Authorization, Pharmacovigilance, and Clinical Trials in 2014.

The designation as an RCORE signifies that the FDA has the capacity and competencies to train its peers in those regulatory function areas.

The FDA Ghana says it remains committed to its mission of safeguarding public health through regulatory excellence. This prestigious award reflects past accomplishments and sets the stage for future endeavors.

The CEO’s transformative leadership, which contributed to the award, has elevated standards within the Authority while catalyzing positive change and advancements in medical product regulation across Africa.

Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith



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