The European Union (EU) has urged Ghana to strengthen its market access capacities to excel as a regional hub for vaccine production.
Mr Timothy Dolan, Team Leader, Macroeconomic and Trade Sector -EU Delegation to Ghana, said this was crucial as Ghana had become a frontrunner for vaccine manufacturing in Africa hosting one of the strongest regulatory body -the Food and Drugs Authority- on the continent.
He made the call during the closing ceremony of the Hands-on Assessors Training for technical staff of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
The training sought to enhance the human resource capacity of the FDA for the regulation of vaccine manufacturing in Ghana.
The training, with support from the German Development Cooperation and the European Union, was implemented by GIZ, and had three modules – 15-Days Quality Assessors Training, 15-Days Clinical Assessors Training, and 10-Days Non-Clinical Assessors Training.
Mr Dolan said developing high-quality manufacturing capability required sustained commitment and partnerships, as well as strong pharmaceutical, regulatory, and governance systems.
The EU Delegation Team Lead said despite some hurdles Ghana had made some achievements with the commissioning of the National Vaccine Institute and the passage of the National Vaccine Institute Bill.
Mr Dolan said the support to the FDA had reiterated the EU and Member States’ commitment to Ghana’s vaccine roadmap.
‘Ghana’s vaccine manufacturing ambitions are in the spotlight and the urgency to meet the short-term targets of the roadmap is critical,’ he stated.
Dr Holger Till, a GIZ Representative, commended the EU for the support.
He said ‘together, we have made significant progress since the start of the project and very soon, FDA Ghana will have the full capacity per WHO standards for vaccine manufacturing regulation in Ghana.’
Mrs Delese Darko, the Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, reiterated the importance of the training in vaccine dossier evaluation, adding that it formed a critical part of the FDA’s response to the call by the President.
She added that ‘since the President’s announcement, the FDA with support from its partners have been diligently working at improving regulatory capacities to ensure the quality, safety, and efficacy of locally manufactured vaccines.’
Mrs Darko hinted that in November 2023, the FDA would take another pivotal step by initiating feasibility studies to construct an ISO Class 5 with 6 Background Cleanroom.
‘FDA will also establish a Molecular Biology Laboratory and continue to acquire the necessary laboratory equipment to operationalise these facilities.
These developments underscore our dedication to building the infrastructure to regulate locally manufactured vaccines,’ the CEO stated.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Manso Opuni, a Lecturer at the University of Ghana and a Facilitator at the training, urged the trainees to skillfully apply the knowledge acquired to ensure the FDA achieved its mandate.
The eight-week training saw participants presented with certificates.
The Hands-on Assessors training constitutes one of the key deliverables of the 2.84 million Euro Institutional and Technical Strengthening of Ghana’s FDA project intended to bridge capacity gaps to ensure quality, safety, and efficacy of locally manufactured vaccines that meet international standards.
Source: Ghana News Agency