The Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone, the sole Drugs and Pharmaceuticals regulatory Agency in Sierra Leone over the weekend concluded a two-fold intensive capacity building workshop that lasted two weeks at the Marianella Facility in Freetown.
The training seminar which attracted tutors from Ghana was centred on two areas of gross significance in the management and protection of the Public Health of the Country. The first week of training saw the staff of the board go through an intensive course on international (World Health Organization-WHO) standards of Drug Dossier Evaluation.
The Drug Dossier Evaluation programme according to Kari-Kari Boatay, one of the instructors from Ghana “are laid down standards by the WHO and Drugs Regulatory Agencies throughout the world that ensures that manufacturers/suppliers of Drugs and Pharmaceuticals provide detailed-standard information on drugs they manufacture or supply”.
This he said is more related to information as to who manufactures the product, what ingredients are used in the manufacturing of the product and tips as to how the said product could be put through quality control test; as against factory and standard specifications.
On the relevance of such training to the staff of the Pharmacy Board and the country as a whole, WCN Johnson-Acting Registrar of the Sierra Leone said in an interview, “this aspect of the training is invaluable to the work of the Board”. He added, “It will help the Board improve on the inroads it has made in filtering out fake and sub-standard drugs hitting the country’s drugs and pharmaceuticals market as well as help us put drugs entering the country through the required quality control test”.
The effective use of the dossiers Johnson maintained will ensure that the gullible public is not left at the mercy of the manufacturers of counterfeit and sub-standard drugs as according to him, “many drugs supplied by factories contain impurities that may put the health of the people in utter peril.”
The second week of training of the Pharmacy Board Staff took them through the rudiments of ‘Good Manufacturing Practice’ which ensures that drugs and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities and procedures go according to outlined standards as provided by the World Health Organization.
This aspect of the training in the words of head of the Inspection Department at the Pharmacy Board James T. Komeh “builds the capacity of the Board Inspectors to be able to determine whether Pharmaceutical Facilities tied with the country meet projected standards during site verification”.
Mr. Komeh maintained that the training ensures that “the inspectors get to know the dos and don’ts with regard hygiene, proper manufacturing environment of drugs supplied to the country”.
Quizzed as to whether such dossiers could be of use in the country when drugs manufacturing factories are not present in Sierra Leone, Acting Registrar Johnson remarked, “the standard procedure is that the Pharmacy board is required to conduct suitability inspection at any drugs manufacturing agency supplying drugs to the country”. This he said is to determine whether such premises meet the required conditions outlined by the Government of Sierra Leone in consonance with WHO regulations.