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Vac­cine Pro­duc­tion: Strength­en­ing Qual­i­ty In­fras­truc­ture in African Coun­tries

Regulatory experts from Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa and representatives from regional harmonisation initiatives visit the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut

At a four-day meeting at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, representatives of the regulatory authorities in Ghana (Food and Drugs Authority, FDA), Rwanda (Food and Drugs Authority, FDA), South Africa (South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, SAHPRA) and Senegal (Agence sénégalaise de Réglementation Pharmaceutique, ARP) discussed future cooperation with vaccine experts from the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut and experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (the German National Metrology Institute, PTB). The goal of the meeting was to further strengthen the authorities’ regulatory capabilities so that they can fulfill their obligations to monitor vaccine production in Africa in accordance with international standards. Representatives from the economic regions of East Africa (East African Community, EAC) and Southern Africa (Southern African Development Community, SADC) as well as the African Union Development Agency (New Partnership for Africa’s Development, AUDA-NEPAD), the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) took part in the meeting.

Future cooperation will be particularly focused on monitoring the quality of locally produced vaccines. In addition, close cooperation between vaccine-producing countries and economic regions in Africa will be promoted in order to develop harmonised processes and procedures across Africa and to support systems of mutual trust in vaccine quality control.

Participants follow presentations by experts from the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut.
Participants follow presentations by experts from the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut. © PEI

The PTB supports a pan-African expansion of the continent’s quality infrastructure. Strengthening Africa’s quality systems has been a particular focus in the health and pharmaceutical sector since the start of the pandemic. New focus areas are the strengthening of the framework conditions for quality assurance of pharmaceutical products, the institutional development of the African Medicines Agency (AMA) and the promotion of African vaccine production.

Since 2016, the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut has been cooperating with African partner countries and international partner organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the African Vaccine Regulatory Forum (AVAREF) within the framework of the Global Health Protection Programme (GHPP) funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMG). In the RegTrain-VaccTrain project, the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut focuses on regulatory training and advice in the field of clinical trials and vaccine and biomedicine pharmacovigilance. The BloodTrain project supports the availability, safety and quality of blood and blood products.

Image © PTB