Regional Workshop on Regulation of Traditional Medicines
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, 1-3 APRIL 2003
The workshop’s objective was to review the Draft Guidelines for Registration of Traditional Medicines in the WHO African Region, prepared by WHO/AFRO and circulated to participants before the meeting. Nineteen people from fifteen countries attended the workshop, which adopted a four category classification system for traditional medicines.
Participants agreed on the minimum general regulatory requirements for traditional medicines, in terms of the safety, efficacy and quality issues related to the import and export of these medicines within the region. Member States would develop their own national minimum specific regulatory requirements for the registration of each category of traditional medicine, based on the general minimum requirements adopted in Johannesburg.
The workshop recommended Member States to develop/ review their national laws/policies, and their registration and regulatory frameworks. Countries should also support research on traditional medicines, expedite action on the integration of traditional medicine into national health systems and establish/strengthen agencies that regulate traditional medicine practice. Recommendations to WHO included supporting countries in developing their regulatory framework for traditional medicine, strengthening WHO Collaborating Centres working on traditional medicines and capacity building.
National Professional Officers Planning and Evaluation Meeting
DAKAR, SENEGAL, 8-11 APRIL 2003
WHO/AFRO and WHO/EDM organized the second National Professional Officers (NPOs) Planning and Evaluation Meeting in April 2003. The overall objectives were to contribute to NPO capacity building and share lessons learned on improving access to and use of essential medicines. Guidance was given on developing, implementing and monitoring plans of action for 2003, taking into account results from Level II monitoring activities. Each country’s plan was presented, discussed and agreed upon.
The meeting also marked the first anniversary of the NPOs’ recruitment, so providing a good opportunity to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the NPO system, together with the roles, responsibilities and expectations of NPOs and of WHO at country, regional and global levels. The meeting concluded that:
• NPOs should focus on improving collaboration with ministries of health and other partners, including information sharing, and concentrate on implementing activities in the plans of action. They should also take full advantage of available training courses at country offices.
• WHO/EDM and WHO/AFRO should engage in resource mobilization to forestall any budgetary constraints in implementing activities. They should provide documentation on roles and functions at the various levels of WHO, and ensure that communications to and from NPOs in the African Region flow through WHO/AFRO. Proper integration of NPOs at country offices, and increased opportunities for capacity building for NPOs were also recommended.