By: Joy Odor/Abuja
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director, Mr Stephen M. Haykin has presented the Federal Ministry of Health Director Food and Drug Services, Dr. Mashood Lawal with an International Standards Organization (ISO) certificate of accreditation to the National Agency for Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) laboratory.
This USAID-NAFDAC collaboration also served to launch the pharmaceutical manufacturing roadmap.
The NAFDAC laboratory in Lagos, responsible for testing the quality of vaccines and other related medical products in Nigeria, is the fifth laboratory to be certified by ISO – an independent international standard bearer – for quality assurance.
The manufacturing road map, developed by NAFDAC with USAID support, will delineate quality standards for every pharmaceutical manufacturer in Nigeria, ensuring that standards are established and maintained consistently across the board and thereby assuring the reliability of the medicines produced by these manufacturers.
The support is the latest example of USAID’s contribution to maintaining the quality of medicines in Nigeria. Nigeria is among 35 countries that receive technical and financial assistance from USAID to assist regulatory authorities to safeguard the quality of medicines in country, with a particular focus on the treatment of malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis.
USAID support has included developing quality assurance processes for laboratories, calibration of equipment, procurement of basic equipment and reagents, support for proficiency testing and auditing, and staff capacity building all aimed to strengthen quality assurance of medicines.
“Today’s accreditation and launch of the pharmaceutical manufacturing roadmap will not only avail Nigeria with the capacity to improve the quality of medicines it produces, but also enable it to develop local medicines in accordance with internationally accepted standards,” Haykin said.