By Mildred Nambi
East African Community Partner States livestock and veterinary experts concluded a two-day meeting in Arusha, Tanzania to discuss the harmonization of registration of veterinary vaccines in the region.
The aim of this initiative is to have harmonized regional veterinary regulations and legislation for the registration of immunologicals (vaccines) established in the region and to allow mutual recognition of approvals of veterinary vaccines assessed by one regulatory agency, thus eliminating the need for duplication of assessments.
Speaking at the meeting, EAC’s Director for Productive Sectors Dr. Nyamajeje Weggoro said a harmonized registration system in the region is of utmost importance for the development of the animal industry by enhancing quality of vaccines while reducing their cost.
“The establishment of a harmonized registration system in which licenses can be issued through mutual recognition procedures will benefit the EAC countries by reducing time and duplication of dossier assessments, thus allowing a faster introduction of good quality vaccines and related immunologicals onto the East African markets at a reduced cost,” Dr Weggoro said.
He noted that animals and their products contribute significantly to the wellbeing and food security for the people of the region and hence the need to ensure that all the inputs used for animal production including chemicals, drugs and vaccines are safe and meet recommended standards.
Dr. Weggoro added that the EAC Common Market Protocol requires that a common mechanism for drugs and immunologicals is put in place to ensure easy movement and availability in all the Partner States.
The Director of the African Union Pan African Vaccine Centre (AU-PANVAC) Dr. Karim Tounkara emphasized the need to develop an efficient control system that allows the distribution and use of only quality certified products in Africa.
The meeting was attended by EAC Partner States’ Chief Veterinary Officers, Heads of Regulatory Authorities and Technical Working Groups. In addition, AU PANVAC, GALVmed and experts from Sudan and South Sudan were present.