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Khartoum, Sudan 26-4-2016: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) together with Member States and partners are meeting for the 2nd Member States Regulatory Authorities Conference in Khartoum, Sudan from April 26-27, 2016 to have regional medicine regulatory collaboration and harmonization for improved health care services in the IGAD region.

The two-day conference financed by the World Bank was officially opened by His Excellency Dr. Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, the Minister of Health in the Republic of Sudan in the presence of Her Excellency Hawa Hassan Mohamed Minister of Health in the Federal Republic of Somalia as well as representatives from IGAD Member States and development partners and medicine and drug experts.

In the opening remarks Mr. Elsadiq the Director of Economic Cooperation & Social Development Division (ECSD) reassured the Member States and partners of IGAD’s commitment to work together with Member States and partners to realize and materialize medicines regulation in the IGAD region through the monitoring and supporting Member States to implement the recommendations and action plans.

In support H.E Bahar Idriss commended IGAD for keeping its commitment in bringing together the stakeholders. He called for practical directions and priorities and continued collaboration of all partners by providing the expertize, technical and financial support as well as Member States being able to enforce recommendations in their existing policies and regulations in order to have a healthier population through safe and efficient health care services and cross border supply chains responding to current and emerging health challenges that are faced by the Member States.

The Member States shared experiences and best practices to tackle some of the challenges some of which include; a) control of pharmaceutical medicines at entry and exit points, b) post market surveillance, c) intensive monitoring, inspection and evaluation d) attracting the private sector to invest in pharmaceutical products e) increased information sharing and exchange f) adaptation to new technology as well as g) public sensitization and training of the personnel on ground.

The expected result of the conference is to establish IGAD regional regulatory unit for medicine regulation and harmonization to be able to provide safe, affordable yet high quality medicine and supplies to benefit the people in the region as well as have political support of the Member States and increased international investment in pharmaceutical industry.

IGAD region needs proper regulations of medical and health care products which will be realized when there is a system and capacity to maintain legal medicine marketing authorization, sensitization of the masses and training of medical professionals, licensing and frequent inspection of medicine outlets for better monitoring and health service delivery.

The conference is part of the African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization (AMRH) Program which aims at ensuring quality, efficient and safe medicines through the collaboration of Regional Economic Communities (RECs), National Medicines Regulatory Authorities and development partners to create a simplified and transparent regulatory system.

The organizations represented are the WORLD BANK, the World Health Organization (WHO), the African Union Commission (AUC), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA), Ministries of Health, Drug and Food Control and Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance organizations from the IGAD Member States as well Organization of African First Ladies at the Office of the First Lady of Sudan. ###

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