Paul Obi in Abuja
Experts in public health across the African continent have called for the strengthening of health care emergency system in order to prevent epidemic in the continent.
This was part of the resolutions reached at the end of a two day seminar on emergency health system in Africa.
According to the President of the Association for Good Clinical Practice in Nigeria (AGCPN) and Professor of Radiation Medicine at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Prof. Ifeoma Okoye said the need for an effective and efficient health emergency system is sacrosanct to the overall health care service delivery.
Okoye argued continouos neglect of health emergency will have negative effect across the broad spectrum of the health sector.
She added that “there is the need for capacity development; both human and infrastructural, with Clinical trials as a fulcrum towards addressing future public health emergencies in sub- Saharan Africa.
“There is the need for close collaboration between public and private establishments/ sectors in sub- Saharan Africa towards combating and reducing mortality and morbidity accrued from public health emergencies and poorly conducted clinical trials,” Okoye said.
Also, Prof. Maurice Iwu also harped on the need to enhance modulation in tracking diseases as well as the introduction of microbiota system.
Iwu stressed the need for concerted efforts in improving health care emergency in the sector for optimum results.
In a communique, participants called for “deliberate effort by all tiers of government, NGOs and private partners to support clinical trials and research generally across sub –Saharan Africa.
“Better engagement between regulatory bodies and researchers to conform to best international practice by governments establishing and enforcing standards for clinical research professionals and clinical research accreditation.
“The need to identify and accredit certifying bodies for clinical trial training across sub – Saharan Africa. The need for regulatory framework to be strengthened across sub-Saharan Africa.
“Need for advocacy for government support and funding of clinical trials, qualitative research and innovations. The need for political will by governments to drive the hub in all spheres of clinical trials. The need for harmonisation of clinical trials and qualitative research towards combating public health emergencies.”
In the communique, participants also tasked “government to initiate mechanisms where desk officers are deployed to tertiary health institutions for clinical trials in sub-Saharan Africa. As a matter of public health emergency and national security, government should support local production of vaccines in sub –Saharan Africa.
Prominent articipants at the event include Shirley Owusu-Ofori (Ghana) , Mofa E. Esuga (USP- Lagos), Dr Simon Agwale, Dr Andrew orovwigho (Enugu), Dr Bassey Edet (Calabar), Tomi Dara (NAFDAC), Dr Anthony Ikeme (Philadelphia) Dr Kelechi Lawrence (Dalaware), Dr Didier Mouliom (France/Cameroon), Dr Chidi Nweneka (NACA) among others.