Lilongwe, November 10, 2021, Mana: Government has pledged to accelerate the signing and ratification process of the African Medicines Agency (AMA) Treaty, a continental framework of the African Union designed to facilitate harmonization of medical regulation throughout AU member states.
Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda made the commitment Tuesday evening at the Bingu International Convention Center (BICC) during an on-the-side-lines gala dinner of the underway SADC Ministers of Health summit.
Kandodo Chiponda said government recognizes the importance of regional collaborations in the growth of individual countries, regions, and the continent at large adding that efforts to provide Universal Health Coverage by AU member states can only be achieved through collaborative continental efforts.
“COVID 19 has shown us that unity of purpose is key in addressing country, regional and continental health challenges. AMA is one such (tool) that will go a long way in creating collaboration in medical products regulation. Keeping the region safe is our collective responsibility and priority,” she explained.
She further described AMA as a continental solution to challenges facing medicine and products which she said once fully operationalized all unauthorized medicines, sub-standard and falsified products will be eliminated from the African market.
One of the partners supporting the AMA initiative is PATH, a global public health non-profit organization that took advantage of the summit to mobilize the SADC ministers of health and lobby for the signing and ratification of the initiative.
PATH Chief for the African Region, Dr Nanthalile Mugala, said the continent needs national regulatory authorities that are capacitated to ensure that African people are not subjected to falsified and sub-standard medical products.
“With more than 130 people, it is important that SADC ensures that its population can access safe and effective medicines and has the necessary regulatory frameworks to ensure that its population is safe,” she said.
She added that as the African Union Commission works towards having AMA come into force, it was critical that Ministers of Health in the SADC region are interested, knowledgeable on the value proposition for AMA, in the interest of public health, safety and security.