Medicines control lab gets WHO nod

via Medicines control lab gets WHO nod 21/09/2014

ZIMBABWEANS are set to gain access to better medicines after a quality control laboratory in Harare got the nod of approval from the World Health Organisation (WHO) last week.

The approval follows a thorough assessment by the WHO and the laboratory was found to be operating in compliance with international standards.

The lab can now carry out quality tests on medicines bought by the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria.

WHO Director of Essential Medicines, Dr Kees De Joncheere, said this sends a strong message to local and importing manufacturers that their medicines will be tested according to international standards, thereby potentially improving patient treatment.

“This is important work WHO does to improve the functioning of health services, preparing countries to cater to their populations’ health needs and face crises such as the current Ebola outbreak more effectively,” Joncheere said.

The WHO representative said this can only be “done by bolstering the capacity of health professionals and the functioning of public health structures”.

The laboratory, which is part of the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ), is the sixth quality control outfit to receive WHO prequalification in Sub-Saharan Africa.

As with the other five, the MCAZ lab benefited from expert assistance from WHO including guidance and training to raise its performance to international standards.

WHO representative in Zimbabwe, Dr David Okello, said they are proud of this achievement.

“In essence it means that when the Global Fund buys millions of dollars’ worth of medicines for southern African countries, it can rely on the Zimbabwean laboratory to assist in ensuring the medicines are safe and effective,” Dr Okello said.

“Without this kind of service, lives would be placed at risk and precious donor funds could be wasted.”