Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Country Appointed Chair WHO Drug Committee

Nigeria has been appointed chair of the International Steering Committee of the new Member State Mechanism (MSM) for combating Substandard, Spurious, Falsely-Labeled, Falsified and Counterfeit (SSFFC) medical products.

Nigeria's Permanent Representative to Geneva, Switzerland Ambassador Umunna Humphrey Orjiakor was unanimously appointed by over 100 delegates from six regional blocs' member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) at a thr ee-day top level international meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which ended November 21st, 2012.

A press release by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)'s Deputy Director (Public Relations and Protocol), Mr Abubakar Jimoh explained that the new Member States Mechanism (MSM) are a novel platform created by WHO to frontally tackle the global problem of spurious, substandard and counterfeit medicines.

Each of the six regional blocs of the WHO comprising European Union, African Union, Arab Union, USA and Latin American countries will produce two vice-chairs under the headship of Nigeria to steer the affairs of the MSM Committee (Bureau) for the next one year.

Highly elated Director General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii expressed the profound appreciation of the government and people of Nigeria to the Director General of WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan and all the delegates for the recognition and honour done to Nigeria.

Orhii said the appointment has reiterated NAFDAC's concerted effort at combating spurious, substandard and counterfeit medicines through the use of cutting-edge technologies like TRUSCAN, Mobile Phone Scratch and Text Services as well as Deep Infra-red technology such as the Black Eye.

The scope of work of the new steering committee of the Member State Mechanism (MSM) include broadening access of member nations to affordable medical products, strengthening their regulatory capacity and quality control laboratories, clarifying the scope of SSFFC and enhancing exchange of information and experience among drug regulatory authorities worldwide.

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