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Pharmacy Board in Capacity Building

Pharmacy Board in Capacity Building

The ability of Drug Regulatory Agencies to adequately carry out the ever challenging tasks to ensure medicines safety depends on the capacity of its staff carry out such tasks in line with contemporary methods and standard operating procedures.

In this light, the National Drug Regulatory Agency in Sierra Leone, Pharmacy Board is very keen on ensuring that its staff continues to update their capacities in meeting the demands of modern day drug regulation in Sierra Leone. Recently, there had been many such activities that the Board has involved in ensuring a boost of the capacity of its regulatory officers.  

Head of the Department of Drug Information and Pharmacovigilance at the Pharmacy Board Sahr Emmanuel Gbomor attended a two week seminar on Anti-malaria held from 17th-30 May 2011 in Shangai China Organized for Asian and African scholar on malaria.

The seminar was conducted by the Chinese Government with the aim of creating a forum where issues on malaria in Asia and Africa could be discussed for better understanding of the disease situation, Mr. Gbomor told the newsletter team after his return from China.

In a similar vein, the head of Inspection Department at Pharmacy Board attended a conference on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Inspection Process for National Medicine Regulatory Authorities and Manufacturers in the Ecowas region from 20th -24th September, 2011 in Cotonou, Benin.

The training session was organized by WAHO (West Africa Health Organization) as part of its commitment to train Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Regulatory Bodies in the ECOWAS region in Good Manufacturing Practices Inspection process.

Among other things, the training ensured that participants learn the relevance of Good Manufacturing Inspection Process in the regulation of medicines in the sub region. By the laws of Sierra Leone, all premises manufacturing drugs and pharmaceuticals that are imported into Sierra Leone must be inspected by Pharmacy Board Officers against the World Health Organization standards on Good Manufacturing Practice.

In a related development, head of the Quality Control Laboratory Pharmacist Mohamed Sesay and the Head of Inspection Department Mr. Shuwary Barlatt recently returned from an international seminar on Essential Medicines Policies organized by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. The programme took place in Geneva- Switzerland from 31st October to 4th November 2011.

The programme looked at the role and responsibilities of Essential Medicines Policies could in the implementation of the WHO medicines Strategy. It also looked at National Medicines Policies and Access to Medicines Polices of member Nations worldwide. Attendants were presented with an updated WHO Model list of Essential Medicines and strategies on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property rights were also discussed. 

Communication being a major component in the running of a Pharmacovigilance centre, three staff of the Department of Drug Information and Pharmcovigilance of the Pharmacy Board from the 11th to 13 October took part in a three day Seminar on Effective Communication in Pharmcovigilance in Accra, Ghana.  Mr. Sahr E. Gbomor, Mr. Sheku Mansaray and Mr. Alimamy Conteh attended a training course organized BY THE Uppsala Monitoring Centre (UMC).  

The training which was conducted by Mr. Bruce Hugman: Communication Specialist from the UMC among other things centred on communication challenges in Drug Safety, such as the importance of ADR and reporting them, Information about risk and benefit in drug use, encouraging rational drug use/adherence etc. 

Effective Communication was defined as a message which is sent with evidence that it has been received, understood and has prompted change or action.   It was also pointed out that modern communication should exhibit the following qualities; intimacy, immediacy and high impact, peer-to-peer, addressing competition and beneficial.

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