Horn of Africa countries route for medical industry regulation

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) member states release their first regional survey on the quality of medicines at cross border areas with a call to member states to strengthen their medical regulatory bodies.

In a two-day meeting held at Lake Victoria hotel in Entebbe it was revealed that the region has a challenge of circulating substandard and illegal medicines that pose a threat to public health if neglected .

It was noted that this led to the issuance of the Addis Ababa call of action that resulted into the Khartoum declaration to ensure that measures are taken to protect the marginalized and the vulnerable cross boarder mobile populations that include refugees, seasonal laborers among others.

According to the IGAD Medicine Regulatory Harmonization Specialist Anthony Toroitich with the support of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) they managed to survey on two medicines of oxytocin injection and amoxicillin dispersible tablet for maternal and child health in selected cross border areas of Ethiopia,Djibouti,Kenya,Somalia,Sudan and Uganda in December 2018 to February 2019.

The report indicate that over 21% of the tested oxytocin injection samples did not meet the standard while 100% of the amoxicillin samples met the standard and meanwhile about 72% of Oxytocin injection products, 30% of Amoxicillin dispersible tablets and of Amoxicillin oral powder for suspension circulating in cross border areas were unregistered by the relevant medicine regulatory bodies of the region.

The report recommends that Member States emphasize medicine registration and must meet the requirements and also help other member states without medicine Authorities to establish them in order to strengthen in order to reduce on the challenges posed.

Meanwhile in her opening remarks the Director IGAD Health and Social Development Directorate Fathia Alwan heighted that experts selected Oxytocin and Amoxicillin medicines basing on the crucial use they hold to life saving of both mothers and children.

Fathia explains that Oxytocin is widely available and used in low and middle income states usually used immediately after r child birth to reduce the bleeding risk among mothers and on the other hand Amoxicillin as an antibiotic drug for children and adults.

By Evelyn Namugabi