SIAPS Launched in Cameroon

Left to right: SIAPS Country Program Director Dr. Buke, US Ambassador Jackson, and Minister of Health Fouda

A ceremony to formally launch the SIAPS Program in Cameroon was held last Thursday in Yaounde at the Djeuga Palace Hotel in which the Minister of Public Health, André Mama Fouda and the US Ambassador to Cameroon, Robert P. Jackson both attended.

Dr. Kaze Gege Buki, SIAPS Country Project Director, presented on results from a pharmaceutical management analysis previously performed in Cameroon. Low access to quality medicines in the public sector due to poor staffing, coordination, management of HIV commodities, sexually transmitted diseases, and family planning all contribute to frequent stock-outs at health care sites. Due to such poor access, over 500,000 people in Cameroon are living with HIV and AIDS and new infections continue annually.

SIAPS will be working with the Cameroon Ministry of Public Health through the Directorate of Pharmacy, the National Centre for Essential Drugs Procurement and Medical Disposables, the regional departments for stocking drugs and the National AIDS Control Committee to build the capacity of pharmaceutical services at all levels to strengthen the pharmaceutical system over a three year period.

In Cameroon, SIAPS interventions will be designed to provide immediate response to urgent day-to-day pharmaceutical problems, while developing the policy framework and human capacity to strengthen the system in the medium and long terms.

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Africa 2012 Pharmacovigilance Meeting

While access to new essential medicines in Africa continues to increase, a lack of proper monitoring and promotion of safe, good quality, and effective medication is also on the rise. With such weak pharmacovigilance systems, adverse drug reactions, poor product quality and medication errors become a hazard to health care systems.

During three days in April, the 2012 Pharmacovigilance Meeting, which was hosted by the Ministry of Health, Kenya; the Pharmacy and Poisons Board; SIAPS Program; and the USAID-funded Health Commodities and Services Management (HCSM) Program brought together partners from the African Regulatory Authorities, WHO, BMGF, EMA, CDC, FDA, USAID, and other key stakeholders to disseminate study findings of pharmacovigilance systems and performance in sub-Saharan Africa and facilitate a dialogue around common needs and opportunities.

The meeting was held in Nairobi, Kenya from April 18-20 and included a one-day launch of the study publication, Safety of Medicines in Sub-Saharan Africa: Assessment of Pharmacovigilance Systems and their Performance, followed by a two-day intensive workshop where countries shared their current practices and collectively identified operational tools and guidelines needed to implement pharmacovigilance activities with a systems perspective.

The full agenda and presentations can be found here.

Learn more about what SIAPS is doing in pharmacovigilance.