Ghana at the weekend passed the baton to Kenya to host the 3rd prestigious African Society of Pharmacovigilance (ASoP) Conference in 2016.
The first ASoP was organised by the Moroccan Society of Pharmacovigilance (PV) from December 12- December 13, 2013 in Rabat.
The 2nd two -day conference hailed as very successful ended in Accra on Friday dubbed: “ASoP-2015,” and on the theme: "Pharmacovigilance in Africa: New Methods, New Opportunities, New Challenges.”
It attracted more than 500 participants across the globe.
ASoP is a professional society that brings together stakeholders in PV in Africa.
It is the African Chapter of the International Society of Pharmacovigilance and has the aim of improving the art and science of PV through research, meetings, collaborations, education and information sharing.
The conference was organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Advocacy and Training in Pharmacovigilance (WHO-CC), University of Ghana, in conjunction with the Food and Drugs Authority of Ghana (FDA).
Ghana was selected to host the prestigious event in view of the country’s remarkable leadership in the safety of medicines and vaccines.
Dr Anarfi Asamoah-Baah, Deputy Director of WHO lauded Professor Alex Dodoo, Director of WHO-CC, Accra and Ms Haagar Hilda Ampadu, Deputy Director of the body and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee for a good job done.
He expressed the need for collaborative efforts to demystify PV and make it a “sexy” issue, to attract the attention of the public.
He therefore called for stakeholder involvement on PV including the media and people from other disciplines.
Dr Asamoah-Baah said PV was a reaction to a crisis situation and so far progress has been made in promoting the course.
Prof Rachida Soulaymani- Bencheik, President of ASoP said the numerous presentations and deliberations at the confab facilitated the essence of PV, hence the need for coordinated action in Africa to promote the drive.
Mrs Martha Gyamsa-Lutterodt, Ghana’s Chief Pharmacist and Director of Pharmaceutical Services, observed that safety should be the requirements of all drugs.
She therefore called for sustainable systems to help address issues of PV, therefore the essence to ensure that the regulatory authorities are not relegated to the background.
Mr Hudu Mogtari, Ghana’s Chief Executive Officer of FDA, Dr Clive Ondari, Coordinator of Safety and Vigilance, WHO, Geneva and Dr Margaret Sigonda, Agency and HMRA, South Africa hammered on the need for collaboration to move PV forward.
Dr Marie Lindquist, Director, Upsala Monitoring Team, Sweden, pledged the commitment of her organisation to support ASoP to promote drug safety.
Ms Ampadu, said PV in Africa has come a long way, therefore the need for a new approach to sustain the efforts.
Development partners including the WHO, the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, the Uppsala Monitoring Centre, ECOWAS, the West African Health Organisation and the East African Community were part of the conference.
The WHO- CC is an AU/NEPAD Regional Centre of Regulatory Excellence in Pharmacovigilance. It was designated a WHO Collaborating Centre in 2009 to give leadership and technical support to African countries and has been responsible for the setting up of safety monitoring systems in more than 30 African countries.
The FDA is the National Drug Regulatory Agency for Ghana. Established in 1992, the FDA is responsible for ensuring public health and safety by regulating all foods, medicines, vaccines and household chemicals.
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