By Stephen Odoi-Larbi
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has begun building the capacities of forty of its staff in an ambitious project that seeks to strengthen its market surveillance activities.The objective of the €239,000 European Union sponsored Traque Programme which is being implemented by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is to help reduce the number of non-conforming FDA regulated products on markets spread across the country.
It also seeks to promote compliance to FDA regulations to ensure safety and efficacy of imported and locally manufactured food, drugs, medical devices, household chemicals and cosmetics in the country for protection of public health and safety.
So far, twenty-four personnel of the FDA have successfully completed a five-day workshop course in Risk Analysis with each awarded a certificate of participation. The next batch of personnel are currently undergoing the exercise.
The trained personnel are expected to impact their newly acquired skills in the decision making process of the FDA by providing sound scientific opinions to help Management take decisions that would safeguard public health and safety.
Series of additional training workshops spanning over a seven-month period are also expected to be organized for selected FDA staff from across the country under the project.
The eighteen-month long project which commenced in April 2014, has two components – the first being the acquisition of fifty 7.0’ Samsung Galaxy tablets and the other being the capacity building of the staff of the FDA – all aimed at enhancing the regulator’s market surveillance activities in the country.
The Deputy Chief Executive, Food Safety Division, John Odame Darkwa, commenting on the project last Friday said “When this project is completed by September, 2015, the impact of the Food and Drugs Authority in the manufacturing and retail sector will be enormous in reducing risks and increasing assured safety of FDA regulated products for the public good”.
The Team Leader of the Traque Programme, Mariella Sandini, also commenting on the project urged the participants to find a common ground between strict supervision and negligence to ensure that manufacturers comply with all the regulations.
“Control of standards is key in everything because if you bring in regulations and you don’t control it, you can’t achieve your purpose”, she noted.
A participant in the Traque training workshop, Linda Adu, told The Chronicle how beneficial the course had been to her. “The programme was key in broadening my horizon on how to access and manage risks and communicate it to the general public”, she stressed.
FDA trains staff in Risk Analysis
By Stephen Odoi-Larbi