Harare (New Ziana) -The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) is in line to join the top five drug control authorities on the African continent following its attainment of Maturity Level 2 of the World Health Organisation (WHO) classification of national regulatory systems.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said this when he briefed cabinet last week on the 2nd edition of the Africa Health Excon Medical Exhibition and Conference which he attended between June 6 to 9 in Cairo, Egypt.
WHO classification is carried out based on its Global Benchmarking Tool to ensure vaccine quality, safety and effectiveness.
Achieving Maturity Level 1 means some elements of the regulatory system exist while Maturity Level 2 indicates an evolving national regulatory system that partially performs essential regulatory functions.
Maturity Level 3 confirms that a stable, well-functioning and integrated regulatory system is in place while the highest, Level 4 is achieved by a regulatory system operating at an advanced level of performance and continuous improvement.
Countries rated as having effective regulatory systems on the continent include Ghana, Tanzania, Egypt and Nigeria.
Egypt and Nigeria have reached Maturity Level 3 for vaccines regulation (locally produced and imported) and for medicines and imported vaccines respectively, while several other African countries are currently under assessment.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) conferred MCAZ with Maturity Level 2 following its training and assessment over four years.
VP Chiwenga, who doubles as the Health and Child Care Minister, told cabinet that MCAZ was well on course to attain Maturity Level 3, joining a class of five countries out of fifty-seven on the continent to have reached level 3 or 4.
This development bodes well for Zimbabwe in view of the fact that the Health Excon held under the theme “Your Gate to Innovation and Trade” noted the vulnerabilities of member states healthcare systems as exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The health Excon, which sought to promote innovation in the health services and pharmaceuticals sector, urged member states to spur local production of medicines, consumables and drugs while ensuring that the products remain internationally branded.
African States were also urged to embrace health innovation, business and trade in order to build resilient healthcare systems that will improve public health care to the citizenry.
VP Chiwenga addressed the Health Excon on Strengthening Regulatory Authorities through the WHO Global Benchmarking Tool (GBT).
He also met with Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, during which they gave assurances that the MOU between MCAZ and the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) would be endorsed by the dispatch of the first consignment of medicines from that country to Zimbabwe soon.
VP Chiwenga held seven business engagements on the sidelines of the Health Excon and explored areas of investment partnerships covering the medical and pharmaceuticals value chain, agriculture, construction and manufacturing sectors.