NAFDAC Gets 868 WHO Approvals To Produce COVID-19 Vaccines Locally
The National Administration Of Food And Drugs Agency, NAFDAC have ticked a major milestone.
Wellness Health learned that the agency has gotten approval from WHO to produce COVID-19 Vaccines locally.
This development was announced by NAFDAC’s Director-General, Prof Moji Adeyeye.
“With the attainment of 868 recommendations, we (NAFDAC) can manufacture our vaccines.”
Prof Adeyeye said there is a COVID-19 vaccine production site undergoing construction in Oshodi, Lagos, Nigeria.
This laboratory is the start of the local vaccine production.
NAFDAC: First breakthrough
The WHO had recently upgraded the agency to “Maturity Leve three” in drug regulations.
She revealed that the journey to the milestone began in January 2018.
According to her:
“The agency had earlier been told sometime in 2018, that it needed to meet up with 868 recommendations before it can get to maturity level three, and the agency immediately stepped up work on the process.
“WHO Global benchmarking is all about comparing regulatory agencies that work to carry out tasks about the best health regulatory agencies in the world. It is not about comparing ourselves with ourselves but with the best.
“And they told us that we need to meet up with 868 recommendations before we can get to maturity level three, it sounded impossible but my directors stood by me all the way.”
Adeyeye explained that the physical investigation by WHO started In 2019. After they came, the agency secured over 600 recommendations. However, they needed about 247 to attain the desired status.
“There is a group of people in NAFDAC, we call them the Global Benchmarking team, and they have sacrificed a lot. They are the ones that were marking whatever recommendations we have met.
“In June 2019, the WHO came to NAFDAC physically to start the benchmarking process and out of the 868 recommendations, we were able to make over 600, and we had 147 left up till June 2019. But those 147 that were left were the most difficult ones.
“We started working at it with retreat and training because it is all about training. One thing we also did was to make sure NAFDAC is built on a `quality management system’. That was what got us to the 147 recommendations left in 2019.
“We continued in that direction, but in July 2021, the WHO met with us virtually and we were able to reduce the 147 to 33. The 33 were the most difficult and our staff worked for endless hours. I thank them. May I also use this medium to thank the council for recommending regulations; they work tirelessly.”
Role of The PCN and NAFDAC
The DG acknowledged that without the effort of the pharmaceutical company of Nigeria, they wouldn’t have attained this feat.
According to her, the PCN was as involved as NAFDAC. This is because they did a lot of downstream functions in checking for substandard.
She vowed that the agency would work to attain the ‘maturity level four’ status.
Mr Yusuf Suleiman, Chairman of Governing Committee NAFDAC appreciated the Nigerian Government.
He explained the Maturity level is a great feat because it gives any NAFDAC approved drug global recognition.
Source: PUNCH Health Wise