Stakeholders engage on Med Safety App
Stakeholders have met in Accra to deliberate on the performance of the usage of the Med Mobile Safety App, introduced three years ago by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
The Med Safety Mobile App is a mobile app that can be downloaded free of charge from Google Play and the App Store for Android and iOS devices respectively.
The app is used to report adverse reactions (side effects) of medicines, vaccines and other medicinal products to the FDA.
Known as the FDA Work Package Four of the Sustainable Access and Delivery of New Vaccines in Ghana (SAVING) Consortium, the meeting enabled the consortium to present findings on the implementation research (IR) conducted to identify factors contributing to the low uptake of the app.
The meeting was to share the results from the phase one implementation research on the app and also to work with the stakeholders to identify key interventions to be incorporated into phase two of the implementation research to improve the usage of the app.
The FDA launched the app in 2019 to encourage effective reporting of adverse reactions from drugs and other regulated products.
In addition, the app provides an opportunity to create a watch list of medical products as well as receive periodic safety related news.
Commitment to safety
In a speech read on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FDA, Dr Delese Darko, by the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) of the Health Products and Technologies Division at the FDA, Seth Seaneke, underscored the significance of the workshop.
She reiterated the FDA's commitment to ensuring the safety and efficacy of medicines on the Ghanaian market.
The CEO expressed gratitude for the efforts of the SAVING Consortium in building the capacities of not just the FDA staff, but multiple stakeholders in identifying and addressing implementation challenges and the invaluable contributions of all stakeholders towards the utilisation of the app.
"Today’s meeting is not just about sharing results; but also, to chart innovative ways forward that will enhance the utility of the Med Safety App and potentially transform medication safety in Ghana and globally,” Dr Darko stated.
Presenting the phase one findings of the study, which was conducted using a mixed approach, Mrs Adela Ashie of the Safety Monitoring Department of the FDA listed some of the key bottlenecks to the use of the app, including the inability to operate the App, log-in and internet challenges, as well as the App not providing reminders or notifications when news items were posted.
A renowned Ghanaian physician, medical researcher, academic, and medical journal editor, Professor David Ofori-Adjei, who chaired the meeting in his closing remarks, emphasised the importance of stakeholder engagements.He assured the stakeholders that their recommended strategies would go a long way to improve the use of the App.
The engagement had representations from healthcare professionals, patient groups, public health programmes, and other regulatory authorities such as the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority and Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, UK.
Others were representatives from the United Nations Development Programme, World Health Organisation, Access and Delivery Programme and African Union Development Agency (AUDA)-NEPAD’s African Union Smart Safety Surveillance Programme.