To enhance effective collaboration between stakeholders in the food and medical products research space, the Chief Executive of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Dr Delese A. A. Darko, has called for stronger partnerships between the Authority and industry players.
Dr Darko made this call at the maiden edition of the FDA's Scientific Forum, which was held on Thursday, September 14 in Accra.
Under the theme ‘Protecting Public Health and Safety Through Partnerships', the forum brought together the academic community, industry players, sister agencies, research institutions, as well as current and potential collaborators of the FDA to share knowledge for the general advancement of food and medical products' safety, quality and efficacy in Ghana.
The forum also had as part of its objectives to encourage discussions on partnering for success in local vaccine research, development, and production.
“We are in a fast paced scientific world and as a key player in the field of science in Ghana, our work requires close collaboration between the organization and higher learning institutions and industry players at the forefront of knowledge in research and development.
“As a regulator, we must regularly engage with such bodies to keep at pace with our field. We put this forum together to provide a platform for active discussions on ensuring the quality and safety of food and medical products through effective collaboration.
“We will need even stronger partnerships for us to fulfill our mandate. Our aim is to strengthen the relationship between us and all the stakeholders whose work impact food and medical products so we learn from each other in order to improve the work we do for the benefit of the consumer,” Dr Darko remarked.
There were, as well, concurrent panel discussions, and poster presentations from researchers to live and online audiences.
Speaking on the importance of the forum to government's agenda for enhancing research into safe foods and medical products, Minister of Health Kwaku Agyeman Manu commended the FDA for organizing such a forum to provide the platform for synthesize ideas for the work the FDA does and to support vaccine research in Ghana
“This forum presents a unique opportunity for knowledge sharing and I want to commend the FDA for putting it together. Public safety is important for economic growth and it is in these fora that stakeholders are able to bring ideas on board to enhance the safety of food and drugs,” Mr Agyeman Manu said.
“Let us cease this opportunity to forge stronger alliances for a safer and healthy Ghana,” Minister said.
With support from its partners, giz, USAID, Pharmanova, WHO and Atlantic Lifesciences, the FDA put together this first Scientific Forum as part of the Authority's strategic objective to promote food and medicine safety governance through the promotion of inter-agency collaboration.
Ideas from this forum is expected to culminate into implementation strategies which enhances the Authority's mandate as the regulator of food and medicines in Ghana.