The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has professed 2021 as a year to win public confidence by being more accountable to the public through its activities.
Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Mrs Delase A. A. Darko, in an interview with Ghana News Agency in Accra said the authority would work closely with its stakeholders to ensure that proper products were on the market.
“All the work we do depends on how the public sees us, so we are going to listen to our stakeholders a lot more and be more accountable to the public,” she said.
She said the FDA had since the beginning of 2021 reduced its registration fees, improved its registration processes at the port to ensure that producers did not have an excuse to bring unregistered products into the markets.
Mrs Darko added that the Authority would be more responsive to the concerns of the public while using technology as an enabler for effective and efficient regulation.
Commenting on the contribution of the local economy to the economy in 2020, she stated that the Ghanaian local industry can be vibrant and compete with foreign products.
She observed that when foreign products were not coming in 2020, the local industry realized that there was a place for them and took up the challenge.
The CEO said the local industry was however challenged with a good product labelling system as most of the labels for locally made products came from outside the country.
She stated that presently, Ghana did not have a good labelling plant, stressing that “what we need now is a good labelling and packaging plant in Ghana to make the right packaging”.
She said the FDA would support local business and put in the right measures to ensure that locally manufactured products were promoted.
She called on local businesses to take advantage of the African Free Continental Trade regime. Mrs Darko said the FDA was however poised to collaborate effectively with the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) this year to ensure public safety.
The FDA and GSA have commenced harmonization of their operational activities to promote safe, quality and efficacious imported and exported products.
Through the collaboration of FDA and the GSA in 2020, Ghana became the first country in the world to have a standard for nose mask. Commenting on the ongoing process to acquire the Covid-19 vaccine, the CEO said the FDA would ensure that Ghana gets the right quality, safety and efficacious vaccine.
She said the FDA was ready to make sure that the Coronavirus vaccine would be stored rightly when brought into the country.
Mrs Darko said the Authority had put in place a safety monitoring system to ensure that persons who had any reaction to the vaccine reported for further investigations.
“We will put in a system with the Extended Programme on Immunization (EPI) to ensure that every single person who is vaccinated is followed up to access the safety of the vaccine,” she said.
She said the FDA had still not registered any vaccine for Covid-19 and would ensure that it sanctioned any individual or institution which advertised any unregistered Covid -19 vaccine.