The European Union, in collaboration with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), has supported the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) with a sum of 2.84 million euros for its technical and institutional strengthening.
The partnership, which will last 27 months, will see the FDA strengthen its capacity to regulate vaccine manufacturing as Ghana plans to become a Pan-African Vaccine Hub in the next 10 years.
The partnership would also ensure the personnel and facility enhancement of the FDA to ensure the quality, safety, and efficacy of locally manufactured vaccines that meet international standards.
Mrs. Delese Darko, Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, speaking at the Project Launch, in Accra, on Wednesday, said the support would help them build the capacity of their laboratories, allowing them to test locally manufactured vaccines.
She added that it would also help upgrade the FDA from a World Health Organisation (WHO) Maturity Level 3 to a Maturity Level 4 regulatory agency for vaccines.
Mrs Darko said as Ghana targets to be the hub of the Pan African vaccine manufacturing hub, the support would strengthen its inspection, licencing and market authorisation of vaccines as well as the upgrade of its pharmaceutical microbiology laboratory to a biosafety level 3.
Mr Daniel Krull, the German Ambassador to Ghana, said Ghana’s decision to be the Pan-African vaccine-manufacturing hub was a turning point for vaccine equity.
”Germany is proud to be associated with the Government of Ghana in this ground-breaking quest. We are looking forward to how this effort will serve the people of Ghana and Africa for many generations to come, ” said Mr. Krull.
Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the Presidential Advisor on Health, stated that the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, set up a committee in 2021 to ensure Ghana became sufficient in vaccines.
To this end, he said, the President had charged the committee to come up with a roadmap to ensure that Ghana becomes a Pan-African vaccine hub.
Dr Nsiah-Asare said the support from the EU/GIZ was part of the roadmap to strengthening the FDA, which was a vital body to check the quality and efficacy of locally manufactured vaccines.
”The government of Ghana will not set up factories or plants to produce the vaccines but the government will work through the private sector to set up the vaccine plants and we are doing this through the National Vaccine Institute, which would coordinate the manufacturing of the vaccines,” he said.