•Anyakora, Idogho, Egboh, Dorayi, and others bag the West African Institute of Public Health Fellowship Award, plan African Pharmaceutical Academy
As part of efforts to boost local manufacturing of medicines and make Nigeria-produced drugs acceptable worldwide, the Bloom Public Health and the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), a World Bank-funded programme will support selected Nigerian pharmaceutical manufacturing companies that produce malaria medications in the attainment of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and undergo the process of World Health Organisation Prequalification (WHO PQ).
Chief Executive Officer, of Bloom Public Health, Prof. Chimezie Anyakora, in his remarks as a recipient of Fellowship Awards by the Academy of Public Health (APH) of the West African Institute of Public Health (WAIPH), during an induction ceremony, which took place recently, in Abuja, said the attainment of WHO PQ by the pharmaceutical manufacturers will establish their capability to produce medicines that meet stringent standards of quality in line with WHO specifications and global standards.
Anyakora said this would support the increase in availability of quality, efficient and safe medicines in Nigeria, and facilitate international procurement and distribution of locally produced medicines. He said this intervention would radically transform the pharmaceutical sector of Nigeria, putting it on a global pedestal.
Anyakora was honoured in recognition of his significant contributions to the advancement of public health in Nigeria and West Africa. Other recipients of the award include the Managing Director, of Society for Family Health Nigeria (SFH), Dr. Omokhudu Idogho; Former Country Director, of Chemonics International, Deacon Mike Egboh; and Country Director, of Pathfinder International, Dr Amina Aminu Dorayi, amongst others.
Anyakora also noted the commitment of Bloom Public Health to the development of public health professionals and pharmacists across the continent, who can effectively tackle the existing challenges in Africa’s public health sector as stakeholders.
He said Bloom Public Health is in advanced discussions with global organisations for the establishment of an African Pharmaceutical Academy. “The Pharma Academy will provide training tailored to the needs of the pharmaceutical industry and will aim to impact needed skills and expertise to address the paucity of workforce with expertise in regulatory science and quality assurance of medicines. This continent-wide intervention, which is being championed by the Bloom Public Health office in Rwanda, will provide a competent and sustainable workforce for the pharmaceutical industry in Africa,” Anyakora said.
Director-General of the West African Institute of Public Health (WAIPH) and President of the Academy of Public Health (APH), Dr Francis Ohanyido, in his welcome address, said that the Induction Ceremony themed ‘Financing Pandemic Preparedness and Response is not an Option’ was an opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous contributions and efforts of committed public health professionals to the advancement of public health in Nigeria and across West Africa.
The event was well-attended by top-level government representatives from the Federal Ministry of Health Nigeria, public health professionals, and representatives of prominent international organisations, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (UK FCDO), a nonprofit organisation for international health affiliated with Johns Hopkins University (Jhpiego), Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and GH Raisoni University, Madhya Pradesh, India.
The West African Institute of Public Health (WAIPH), which is the leading regional non-state health development organisation working in enabling environment, professional development, research, standards, consulting and advisory services, as well as programme implementation is the Keeper of the Regional Charter of Public Health in West Africa.
The Academy of Public Health (APH) is the faculty of the Institute, which is a membership-based body that focuses on building a strong network of highly skilled and competent public health practitioners in the region and beyond.