Wean FDA Off Government Subvention – Parliamentary Committee On Health

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FDA CEO Delese Darko. Image credit: Foods and Drugs Authority Ghana Source: Facebook Read more: https://yen.com.gh/181894-fda-approves-clinical-trial-herbal-medicine-covid-19-treatment.html
FDA CEO Delese Darko. Image credit: Foods and Drugs Authority Ghana Source: Facebook Read more: https://yen.com.gh/181894-fda-approves-clinical-trial-herbal-medicine-covid-19-treatment.html
Spining

The Parliamentary Committee on Health has asked that the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) be weaned off government subvention and become autonomous to enable it to function properly.

Dr Ayew Afriyie, the Chairman of the Committee, who made the observation, said the continuous “capping” of the FDA had outlived its usefulness hence the need for this measure to ensure that they were well resourced to carry out its mandate.

Dr Afriyie also the MP for Effiduase/Asokore Constituency, Ashanti Region made the call when members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health paid a working visit to the FDA to interact with management to understand their operations.

Dr Afriyie said the FDA was one of the most famous in Africa if not number one, however, due to the challenges of scarce resources they were not excelling, a situation he said could be tackled if the institution was using its internally generated fund to run its affairs.

He said for an institution aiming to achieve the World Health Organisation (WHO) Maturity Level four for its medicines regulatory system to ensure the safety, quality and efficacy of all medical products imported, manufactured or distributed in the country it needed the resources to meet the standard.

“We expect the FDA to be so resourced to be able to accredit or approve the use of vaccines in the sub-regions and even for Ghana,” he added.

The Chairman said the FDA was mandated to inspect about 10, 000 institutions annually but in the face of the challenges, they had been able to do close to 8,000 with the remaining 2,000 not attended to.

This is a serious situation because 2000 left uninspected happens to be food vendors, adding that the Committee moving forward would table this for discussion to ensure that the needful was done.

Dr Afriyie, on behalf of the committee, however, expressed satisfaction with the FDA’s operations from January 2022 until date.

He said given the challenges the FDA should not be treated as a cash cow, adding that more than ever before this was the time, they needed money to be able to raise their standards otherwise a lot of food safety issues would be recorded.

Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, the Ranking Member of the Committee and MP for Juaboso Constituency, Western North Region, called on the government to set its priorities right.

He said If the country wanted to prevent a lot of diseases, the safety of the food consumed by people must be checked.

Mr Akandoh said, “If we want to prevent a lot of diseases in this country, we must check the safety of the food we eat. One of the things that earn us money in the country is palm oil but now our palm oil has been downgraded because the FDA is not adequately resourced to do the right thing before it’s taken out of the country.

“So, it’s about time the government gets its priorities right. The FDA is a very sensitive institution, and we will be united as a committee to pursue the interest of the agencies under the health sector of which the FDA is no exception,” he added.

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