FDA declares 2021 year of winning public confidence

BY: Severious Kale-Dery
Mrs Delese A.A. Darko - Chief Executive Officer of FDA
Mrs Delese A.A. Darko - Chief Executive Officer of FDA

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has declared 2021 a year of “winning public confidence through accountability, integrity and teamwork”.

It said the decision was in line with fulfilling its mandate of protecting public health and safety as enjoined by the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851).

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FDA, Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, who said this, added that “the FDA is the state institution mandated to ensure the protection of public health and safety”.

In a Webinar dubbed: “Winning public confidence through integrity, accountability and teamwork”, the CEO explained that the authority had the responsibility of registering all products within its purview.

She added that it was the authority’s responsibility to inform and educate the public about products that were regulated by the FDA to ensure that manufacturers complied with standards.

On the COVID-19 pandemic, Mrs Darko said her outfit was able to fast-track approval of personal protective equipment (PPE) to help contain the spread of the virus in the country.

She said the authority employed a 72-hour registration period for all PPE to quicken the process without compromising the quality and safety of the products.

According to her, four types of imported surgical gowns, 330 types of locally manufactured face masks and 63 types of foreign masks had been approved.

Clinical trials

Mrs Darko said Sections 150 to 166 of Act 851 mandated the FDA to give regulatory authorisation for the conduct of clinical trials.

She said in September 2020, researchers from the School of Public Health of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), submitted an application for clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of Cryptolepis sanguinolenta as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

She added that in January this year, the FDA gave approval for the clinical trial of the first herbal medicine for treatment of COVID-19 which outcome the authority was awaiting.

Also, two COVID-19 vaccine applications have been received, processed and authorised for emergency use in the country, the CEO said.

She further said the FDA had come up with a Med Safety App, an application which was free and available on Andriod or Imac operating system (iOS) for people to report adverse effects of allopathic and herbal medicines which would be processed and feedback sent immediately.

Mrs Darko said a short message system (SMS) would also be created for follow-ups.

“Considering the important role the media plays in the promotion of public health and safety, the FDA is grateful to you for the enormous support we have enjoyed,” she said.

Mrs Darko expressed the hope that such interactions would go a long way to strengthen the partnership between the authority and the media.