Pharmacy Board, German Regulatory Authority train pharmacovigilance stakeholders

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The Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone (PBSL) has collaborated with the German Regulatory Agency for vaccines and biomedicines called Paul-Ehrlich Institut to provide three days training for Pharmacovigilance stakeholders in Sierra Leone and representatives of other Medicine Regulatory Authorities in Africa including Liberia, Gambia and Zimbabwe.

It should be noted that in 2018, the German regulator Paul-Ehrlich Institut conducted a system assessment review for Pharmacovigilance and clinical trials in Sierra Leone and they identified some gaps in the system. In order to fill these gaps, they recommended that PBSL put systems and structures in place to be able to monitor the safety of products from importers and distributors of medicines in Sierra Leone. In view of the above, PBSL held a meeting with manufacturers and importers of medicines where it requested the nomination of professionals to be trained as Qualified Persons for Pharmacovigilance.

In the opening session of the three days training, the Acting Registrar of PBSL, Dr. James Peter Komeh, acknowledged the role and support of PEI from Germany in strengthening Pharmacovigilance and Clinical Trial Department of PBSL by providing external training opportunities, developing guidelines, standard operating procedures and other related documents which are all geared towards the  improvement of drug regulatory system in the country.

He continued that the support from PEI for the training in question was another step towards their continuous efforts in helping to improve structures, systems and procedures in drug safety monitoring and clinical trials. 

He admonished the participants of the training to use each and every skill that would be taught to their advantage and to use the sessions to share experience with other regulators that came from other parts of Africa. 

In his statement, Dr. Ulysse Ateba Ngoa who spoke on behalf of PEI said their aim is to strengthen PBSL regulatory system in line with the requirements of World Health Organisation (WHO), adding that he was personally impressed with the fact that PBSL is really working very hard to improve the systems both for Pharmacovigilance and Clinical Trial and that the kind of attention that they had from the participants during the training was laudable. 

The Head of Pharmacovigilance and Clinical Trial Department, Dr. Onome Abiri, said the training targeted 12 professionals in Sierra Leone, representatives of other drug regulatory agencies from Liberia. Gambia and Zimbabwe.

He furthered that the training was tailored to put systems in place  for professionals who participated to be in the capacity of identifying, and preventing adverse drug reactions from reaching out to the general public, citing the incident in Gambia couple of months ago where 66 children died because of  contaminated cough syrup as an example.

He ended by stating that such training would help to take the Sierra Leone regulatory system a step forward to attaining level three of the WHO maturity ranking. 

On behalf of the participants that attended the training,

Markieu Janneh Kaira, the Executive Director of the Gambia Drug Regulatory Agency, expressed gratitude to PBSL and PEI for providing such platform which is inline with the continuous collaborative efforts to strengthen Pharmacovigilance and Clinical Trial systems in African Drug  Regulatory Agencies.  

She promised to cascade the techniques that they acquired from the different facilitators to other regulators in their respective countries.

Other participants also shared similar sentiments at the end of the training and promised to be trainers for other interested professionals who were not fortunate to attend the training.

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