BY OLAYINKA LATONA
The fight against counterfeit and substandard drugs in the country last week received a boost as the World Bank is now partnering with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on drug safety in the country.
The partnership, according to World Bank delegations who were at the Agency’s Oshodi laboratory to ascertain facilities on ground and possible areas for financial assistance, the partnership became necessary following what they described as impeccable records of the agency on cleaning up the drug system in Nigeria.
Speaking, the World Bank Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Dunesh Nair confirmed that the recognition of NAFDAC drug activities at the borders of the country and outside the country was a clear testimony to the amazing success it has achieved in the last few years.
His words, “NAFDAC activities are well known not only in Nigeria but globally and the amazing success you have had in cleaning up the drug system is well recognised. The World Bank is indeed proud to be here in your office to see your facilities and how we can partner with NAFDAC for short and mid- terms. How we can further strengthen your records to clean up the drug quality systems that are bad”.
Stating that it was a great opportunity to work with NAFDAC, said the partnership was also aimed at strengthening their achievements in the last few decades as well as move them to a new era.
“We want to really make sure that NAFDAC continues to play the spearheading role in ensuring quality of drugs, quality of cosmetics that they have been doing”.
Corroborating his views, World Bank Senior Health Specialist Pharmaceuticals, Washington, Dr. Andreas Seiter who recalled that the reputation of NAFDAC goes far beyond the Nigerian borders stated that recent development has shown increasing focus on African countries because Africa is still the continent which has the highest incidence of counterfeiting drugs and the biggest problem for access to safe and effective drugs for its population.
He explained that the efforts to clean up the country of fake and substandard products are not only good for public health, but also good for the business of domestic industry because an industry that comes from a country which is known for a strict drug regulation authority find it much easier to sell its products all over the borders of other countries.
He noted that the goals of economic development and public health are well aligned in this case.
Responding the Director General of NAFDAC, Dr Paul Orhii noted that the partnership would boost the fight against fake drugs in Nigeria.