With the strengthening of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), vaccines produced in Nigeria, including those for COVID-19, will be of an internationally acceptable standard, the Director General, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, has vowed.
Prof Adeyeye made the pledge during the oversight visit to NAFDAC facilities and COVID-19 lab projects in Lagos by the House of Representatives Committee on COVID-19.
She described the federal government’s massive spending on the fight against COVID-19, as evidenced by the construction of the new COVID-19 laboratory, equipped with modern instruments and facilities at the agency, as a wake-up call for the country. .
She noted with dismay that the health sector had been neglected thus far before the current government responded through the National Assembly’s COVID-19 committees, “particularly the members who are here today.”
To ensure the health sector is strengthened, the NAFDAC chief pointed out in a statement signed Sunday by the agency’s Resident Media Consultant Sayo Akintola that the regulatory agency needs to be strengthened.
“If the regulatory body is not strengthened, the industry will not be strengthened,” she said, adding; “We already have the African Free Trade Agreement here with us that the country’s pharmaceutical industry can tap into with quality products.”
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She added, “there will be a lot of competition and if NAFDAC’s lab isn’t strengthened, we won’t be able to compete.”
“For Vaccine, we hope the public-private partnership vaccine facilities will happen soon,” warning that “but if the regulatory body isn’t strong, we can create a vaccine that will destroy our own people.”
With NAFDAC now very strong with WHO Maturity Level 3 certification, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye was excited that ”Nigeria can now make its own vaccines and we can assure the population that there is quality in whatever is manufactured because of the power of NAFDAC .’
Speaking about the impact the COVID-19 fund has made, she said it should resonate well with the whole country that if you put the right people in the right places, the government’s vision can be realized.
“Whatever approvals are given by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the funding of our operations, you can really touch them and this is what happened here today.” Prof Adeyeye excitedly told visiting lawmakers.
She commended the House COVID-19 Committee and the 9th Assembly Healthcare Services Committee for their commitment to ensuring NAFDAC’s international reputation as a regulatory body.
Speaking in a similar vein, Chairman, House Committee on COVID-19, Hon. (Dr.) Haruna Mshelia commended DG NAFDAC and its management team for using the latest technology to upgrade the Agency to a standard unmatched in Africa.
“We have seen firsthand how they have used the latest technology to upgrade the organization to a standard that is unmatched in Africa. I think they should be commended. We’ve seen the warehouse. We have now seen the laboratory under construction. They have gone very far and the quality of the construction is good,” he said.
He added: ”We have also seen the equipment in the labs waiting to be installed.
“I have to commend the DG and her team for getting their money’s worth in terms of COVID-19 funds for NAFDAC. Other agencies should come to NAFDAC and learn how they have leveraged ICT to advance their organization so that our standard can be raised everywhere for all to see. ”