By Chioma Obinna
History was made yesterday when the United State Agency for International Development, USAID, and US Pharmacopeial Convention, USP, presented an international accreditation known as ISO/IEC 17025: 2005 to the Central Drug Control Laboratory of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, for quality monitoring of pharmaceutical products in Nigeria.
The NAFDAC Central Drug Control Lab is the first Government owned laboratory to attain such accreditation. With the accreditation, the laboratory which handles about 8,300 samples in a year now has capacity to test both locally manufactured and imported pharmaceutical products.
Speaking at the presentation of the certificate in Lagos, Mission Director, USAID Nigeria, Mr Michael Harvey who represented the US government noted that Nigeria is faced with high burden of preventable disease described the accreditation as one critical milestone that would re-establish Nigeria as an original super producers and distributors of pharmaceutical products.
Harvey who recalled that Nigeria in the 1980s was West Africa hub for pharmaceutical products said.
that the Yaba Central Laboratory went through an arduous journey before qualifying for the ISO /IEC 17025 accreditation attributing the success to the quality of the staff and management of NAFDAC. He further expressed assurance that the accreditation will result in production of quality drugs that will in time result in reduction of the high maternal and infant mortality rate of the country.
Vice President Global Health Impact Programmes, USP, Patrick Lukulay commended NAFDAC for achieving this feat, saying that Nigeria is one of the very few Nations to have this accreditation.
According to him, “less than 10 percent of the 55 countries of the world have this accreditation. This is a victory, not just for Nigeria but for Africa. We believe that quality control is fore front in securing the life of the people”.