Core staff of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Foods and Drugs Authority (FDA) in the Volta Region have met in Ho to discuss emerging surveillance procedures of licensed medicines for previously unreported adverse reactions.
The meeting, which was under the auspices of the FDA, also discussed Food Borne Disease Surveillance, now a primary issue in health delivery.
Mr Eugene Addo, the Volta Regional Head of the FDB, said the task of the Authority was to ensure that medicines were subjected to “pharmacovigilance with fluid feedback”.
He said there was also the urgent need to energise the Food-Borne Disease Surveillance System to identify and track the diseases to their roots.
Mr Addo said the FDB would undertake an annual assessment of all health facilities in the region using those tools.
He observed that reports on adverse effects of drugs had led to their withdrawal in some countries and put on global alerts.
Mr Benjamin Appiasam-Dadson, a Regulatory Officer of the FDB, who spoke on Drug Safety and Monitoring, said evaluating the efficacy of drugs while in use was as important as the pre-clinical and clinical stages.
He said there was need to build the capacities of health officials to follow through the documentation schedules of adverse drug reactions reported at their facilities, adding there was “gross under reporting in the area”.
Mr Elorm Yao Dordor, also a Regulation Officer, who spoke on Foodborne Diseases and Monitoring, said Ghana was now developing the capacity to link up cases with sources, which needed stakeholder collaboration.
He said there was also the need to create awareness among the populace about that major health concern, which was rampant in the country.
The workshop saw Dr Anthony Ashinyo, the Volta Regional HIV and AIDS and Tuberculosis Co-ordinator, and Mr Robert Adatsi, the Deputy Director, of the GHS in charge of Clinical Care, educating participants to ensure clarity in the implementation of the emerging policies.
It came up that the GHS, a service provider, already has some structures addressing medicine and disease surveillance, which the FDB, a regulatory body, must recognise while planning strategies for monitoring.
Mr Adatsi, a Pharmacist, who chaired the function, said there was the need for consultations to translate the strategies into action.