Some African Drug and Food regulatory agencies are currently in Abuja brainstorming on how to have a single database of information on drug and food regulations on the African continent.
The event, which kick-started on Monday, was organized by the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) in collaboration with the Nigeria National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Newsmen reports that the discussion which focuses on the regulations of COVID-19 vaccines and other health issues in Africa is targeted at ensuring Smart, Safety and Surveillance (AU-3S) of all the regulated products.
Speaking to newsmen at the event, NAFDAC Director-General, Prof Moji Adeyeye, disclosed that AU-3S had become a mini umbrella the agency would be relying upon for information sharing of each country.
She said that from NAFDAC perspective, it was not only monitoring the safety of food and drugs, the agency was also monitoring the distribution of the products.
Adeyeye said that the agency had already started sharing information between each African country with anti-retroviral, anti-tubarculosis and anti-malaria, adding that NAFDAC work was already set up in AU-3S.
“COVID-19 vaccine is a pilot, we are going to be monitoring other products, essential medicine in particular, that is the relevant of AU-3S in Nigeria.
“We are linking our activities in tackling substandard, falsified medicine to what AU-3S is doing, safety and quality efficacy. In Nigeria, we are putting together mechanism to control the quality of medicines in particular.
She said NAFDAC was using traceability in Global Standard one (GS1) in driving technology and actually using it as part of safety monitoring in Nigeria.
She added that once the medicine got to the national cold store of primary healthcare agency, the agency always did the commissioning and the scanning of all vaccines that entered Nigeria.
“Once we finished the scanning, the primary healthcare agency takes over and distributes to the national and sub-national, which includes states, local government healthcare facilities.
“We do this successfully in Nigeria; we use the template that we got in our database, tracebility information system to do our monitoring and regulations,” she said.
She said that the agency was working towards keeping confidence of the agency in the consumers and to ensure that they got quality.