Global Regulatory implications of ENERGY DRINKS. Are Regulatory Agencies like the US FDA to blame?

May 19, 2014

19th May, 2014
by Solomon Sackitey

Like the booming counterfeit drugs industry, the so-called multi-billion dollar energy drink industry, one of the fastest growing businesses in America, is a huge potential destruction of the lives of our future leaders.

It is about time the World Health Organization, UNICEF, The UN, The US FDA, The EMA, The African Union and the general public do something about this possible public health hazard.

A quick action to enhance educational awareness, preaching the potential dangers of such drinks and a swift regulation governing the production, manufacture and placing into commerce “energy drinks” cannot be overemphasized.

Read more here

Death of children involving pneumonia: clinical trials

April 1, 2014

Shared by GRASP admin
1st April, 2014
Solar Powered Oxygen Delivery
Source: Identifier: NCT02100865
Sponsor: University of Alberta

Death of children involving pneumonia: clinical trials

Globally, approximately 2.1 million children die of pneumonia each year. Most deaths occur in resource-poor settings in Africa and Asia. Oxygen (O2) therapy is essential to support life in these patients. Large gaps remain in the case management of children presenting to African hospitals with respiratory distress, including essential supportive therapies such as supplemental oxygen. We hypothesize that a novel strategy for oxygen delivery, solar-powered oxygen, can be implemented in remote locations and will be non-inferior to standard oxygen delivery by compressed gas cylinders.

Collective and sustainable proactive action against Ebola’s unwelcomed visit to Africa

March 31, 2014

-Solomon Sackitey

31st March, 2014

A few weeks ago, the deadly Ebola virus made its presence felt in the West African nation of Guinea with several deaths reported in 41 days. Somewhere within that time frame, it navigated its way to Sierra Leone and now Liberia has confirmed it is the latest victim of this virus which plagued Uganda a few years ago.

The West African Economic Community (ECOWAS) had taken precautionary measures led by Ghana’s Ministry of Health. Hopefully, ECOWAS is expanding its surveillance and emergency preparedness strategies to offset any surprises in the rest of West Africa.

Definitely, EAC (the East African Community) and other Regional Communities in Africa don’t have to wait for Ebola’s visit to their Regions before taking actions.

As a Laboratory Logistics Director during the 2009 swine flu global public health threat and a United Nations Volunteer-awards recipient for contributing to the bird flu pandemic era public health pandemic alertness initiatives, my advice is that it is imperative for a brisk assembly of a Steering Committee to devise strategies and training sessions in various Regions of the African continent to curb this Ebola appearance in Africa.

A collective continental and transcontinental sustainable proactive action against Ebola’s unwelcomed visit to Africa is called for. This partnership might consider the engagement of African professionals at home and in the Diaspora, local African community leaders, the African Union’s Technical Body (NEPAD), the World Health Organization (WHO), National African Ministries of Health, international organizations and student leaders to provide a quick solution to this threat before it gets out of control.

This effort can make Ebola a persona non grata on African soils so it never returns to the continent.

Such a coalition would be a great success story that saves lives when fully embedded in transparency and devoid of corruption.

Suggested further reading can be found at ABC News and at Reuters

The Renaissance of African Health, Agricultural, Environmental and ICT policies

February 22, 2014

by Solomon Sackitey
22 February, 2014

In my brief involvement with the African Union’s (AU’s) New Partnership For Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency, I have come to learn much more about the AU’s commitment to the renaissance of African Health, Agricultural, Environmental and ICT policies which I would like to share with you.

This is very encouraging because, in the past, majority of my colleagues were of the view that the AU is all about nothing but politics and peace-keeping missions.

Here are some of the things the AU and its partners are doing these days:

In Health, for instance, medicines regulatory harmonization efforts among African National Regulatory Authorities (ANRAs) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) have been taken to a new high with serious engagement of Africans at home and in the Diaspora.

The Agricultural Sciences arena has seen NEPAD’s programs embracing, among others, the African Biosciences Initiative, Fisheries, Fertilizer and Land management programs.

Environmental salvation is also on the minds of NEPAD. Efforts in this sector include, but not limited to, climate change, the environment, water and sanitation.

As we all know, virtually, no one can do much these days without ICT and Human Resources Development. The NEPAD’s e-Africa program is committed to making Africa’s competitive presence in the information technology age respected.

Without sustainable human development agenda and policy implementation, not much can be achieved. The AU’s NEPAD Agency has realized that a long time ago and has solid initiatives in the pipeline. These include the African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (ASTII), Education and Training in addition to Science and Technology.

So, from now on you can let your contributions be known and heard by the appropriate authorities/program leads. Of course, it is also a great idea to drop in a few lines to say “bravo” to the relevant authorities or program/team leaders.

Again, I strongly believe, based on a number of reports, that Africa can be the Economic Powerhouse of the 21st Century and I know you do too.

Keeping unsafe and ineffective drugs off African homes

May 22, 2012

-Solomon Sackitey

Following the alleged South Korean Customs officials’ confiscation of smuggled drug capsules containing dried skin of dead babies , a number of concerned citizens have expressed their views about this inhuman drug development and marketing practice of some manufacturers believed to be in China.

This inhumanity is not the first in the history of healthcare products research and development around the globe.  A  few historical events that shaped oversight of human medicines research and marketing have been reported.

The good news is that, despite all these setbacks, the trillion dollar global healthcare industry has good intentions to make safe and effective products to make life more meaningful for humankind. The pharmaceuticals and medical devices sectors of this industry, among others, will continue to be strong in making life worth living.

From now on, here are some suggestions for African health regulators and policy makers:

1. Education of our African leaders. Thankfully, the Global African Diaspora Summit begins in South Africa (Sandton) from 23 – 25 May and our African Leaders and all attendees can bring their heads together to formulate a policy on stopping garbage to be dumped on ‘Mother Africa”.

2. Making our African leaders and Regulatory Authorities more accountable.

3a. Provision of funding to support more infrastructure and capacity building.

3b. Enabling African Drugs/Healthcare Regulators to travel overseas to inspect manufacturing facilities that market their products in Africa.

4. Restructuring of the Healthcare Regulatory System in Africa

5.  A commitment for African Healthcare Policy Makers to accept with open arms the contributions of the African people at home and abroad in addition to friends of Africa wherever they may be.

6. We need to take clues from South African medicinal product regulators to encourage and promote research and manufacturing of drugs locally by buying a majority of the drugs manufactured at home instead of heavy reliance on importation.