The Ghana Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has hosted a delegation from Rwanda FDA led by the Deputy Director General, Madam Umuhoza Martine on a 5-day study tour from the 26th to 30th of September 2022. The visit was pursuant to provisions in a Memorandum of Understanding between the Rwandan FDA and the Ghana FDA dated 24th June, 2022.
The study tour forms part of a capacity-building program aimed at supporting Rwanda FDA in attaining the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Benchmarking Tool (GBT) Maturity Level Three (ML3).
The WHO GBT, which is divided into 4 levels is an instrument to strengthen medical products regulation and promote universal health coverage. It represents the primary means by which the WHO objectively evaluates regulatory systems. Also, it indicates that a National Medicine Regulatory body's system is well functioning and integrates all required elements to guarantee its stable performance.
In April 2020, the Ghana FDA became the second and one of only two countries of WHO African Region's 47 countries to have attained a Level 3 ranking. This means that the Authority had strengthened its medicines regulatory system to ensure safety, quality and effectiveness of medical products manufactured, imported or distributed within the country.
In a welcome ceremony led by the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Health Products and Technologies, Mr. Seth Seneake on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Delese Darko, presentations were made from both Ghana and the Rwandan FDA teams on their scope of operations especially in the areas of Market Authorization and Pharmacovigilance.
Some of the objectives of the benchmarking visit were to seek learning opportunities to strengthen their technical operations, enhance participants knowledge in the enforcement of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), Good Clinical Practices (GCP) and Good Distribution Practices (GDP) as well as the adoption of a risk-based approach to regulatory inspections and laboratory testing.
During the visit, the delegation led by a team from Ghana FDA conducted a GMP inspection at Unichem Ghana Limited and Good Distribution Practices and Good Storage Practice inspection at East Cantonments Pharmacy Limited to enhance their knowledge and skills in these regulatory enforcement activities.
At the end of the study tour, Dr. Raymond Muganga on behalf of Rwanda FDA expressed gratitude to the Ghana FDA for the warm reception received and the unique learning opportuning this visit has offered. He added that the team had acquired a lot of knowledge which is expected to build the capacity of Rwanda FDA in preparation towards its attainment of WHO ML3 in the near future.
Speaking on the next steps, Patrick K. Rugambya of the Rwanda team said that following the end of the study tour, a team from Ghana FDA had started to review some of Rwanda FDA's regulatory tools and is expected to receive comments for considerations. In addition, Rwanda FDA looks forward to further peer learning opportunities with a visit from some staff of the FDA Ghana for further coaching and mentorship.
FDA led by Mr. Seth Seneake in his concluding remarks congratulated the delegation for their hard work and dedication towards this exercise. He intimated that this has been of mutual benefits to both regulatory authorities and the FDA looks forward to augmenting this partnership for the advancement of the course of effective continental medicine regulation.
The FDA exist to ensure the safety, quality and efficacy of human and veterinary drugs, food, biological products, cosmetics, medical devices, household chemical substances and clinical trials, and the control of tobacco products through the enforcement of relevant standards to protect public health.