Implementation of National Drug Policy in Somalia
The National Authorities in Hargeisa recently adopted a national drug policy (NDP) as well as several related policy (donor guidelines) and legislative (regulation of imports) decisions. A one-day workshop on the implementation of the NDP was held in July 2002. Various stakeholders representing the government, private sector, academia, NGOs, the UN and service providers agreed on a strategic package of interventions to begin implementing the NDP. These include establishing a national steering committee and a NDP secretariat to guide the implementation process, developing a national drug regulatory authority, organizing short in-service training courses, and publishing and disseminating national donor guidelines and the updated national essential drugs list.
WHO is working closely with national authorities to re-establish the national drug distribution systems in Somalia. The Medical Stores in Hargeisa are currently being renovated to introduce an appropriate physical environment for storage and distribution. They will also serve as WHO's depot for distribution of medicines and other supplies throughout Somalia. ¦
Forty-ninth Session of the Regional Committee discussed traditional medicine and antimicrobial resistance
Two technical papers related to medicines were discussed by the Ministers of Health.
• "The WHO Strategy for Traditional Medicine: Global Review and Strategy Implementation in the Eastern Mediterranean Region"urged Member States to implement the WHO traditional medicine strategy as a framework for the development of national traditional medicine programmes.
• "Antimicrobial Resistance and the Rational Use of Antimicrobials"led to an intense discussion. Particular concern was expressed about the use of antimicrobials in the food industry as growth promoters. A resolution was passed calling, inter alia, on Member States to establish a national inter-sectoral task force on antimicrobial resistance containment.