Ghana, has been acknowledged by the World Health Organisaition (WHO), for achieving Maturity Level 3 of the Organisation’s global benchmarking tool for measuring the performances of regulatory systems.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, who gave made the acknowledgement, said the achievement was made through the WHO Listed Authorities initiative in 2020.
This, he said meant that Ghana had a stable and well-functioning regulatory system, operating at an advanced level of performance and continuous improvement, and would in future be able to become a reference agency for issuing marketing authorizations in Africa and beyond.
Dr Tedros was speaking at the opening of the World Health Assembly meeting currently underway in Geneva, Switzerland to build a global consensus for addressing the health needs of the world.
He spoke on various issues including the security of healthcare workers globally and the fact that their welfare must be a topmost priority of governments, to help improve the quality of lives of populations.
He explained that on access to medicines, the WHO had given Emergency Use Listing to seven vaccines and 28 in vitro diagnostics for COVID-19, which had allowed 101 countries to issue their own regulatory authorizations.
In total, WHO pre-qualified 62 medicines, 15 diagnostics, 13 vaccines and more last year, which were the most in a single year, he said.
Dr Tedros informed that the WHO in January, published the updated Model List of in Vitro Diagnostics, including new tests for non-communicable and infectious diseases.
“We published new pricing policy guidelines, to increase the affordability of medicines, and we supported Small Island Developing States to sign a pooled procurement agreement for health products, to improve the prices at which they can buy medicines, vaccines and other products,” he said.
Dr Tedros said the WHO was also supporting the Africa Union to establish the Africa Medicines Agency, to increase regulatory oversight and access to safe, efficacious and affordable medical products across the continent.
Mrs Delesi Mimi Darko, Chief Executive Officer, Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), later confirmed that Ghana proudly achieved the landmark in 2020, and that the Authority was now an internationally recognised body for issuing market authorisation of products.