Controlling Drug Quality in Zimbabwe. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 014 (1993)
(1993; 1 page)


In this article, Dr. Nathaniel Dube, the principal microbiologist for the Zimbabwe Regional Drug Control Laboratory (ZRDCL), outlines the testing, training, and research done by ZRDCL. The facility was constructed in 1988 with joint funding from the World Health Organization and Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health. Since its inception, the laboratory has grown to include comprehensive chemical and microbiological testing sectors. Analyses performed by the laboratory include identification of active ingredients in pharmaceuticals and determination of antibiotic potency. Additionally, the facility began comprehensive condom testing to determine any manufacturing defects or deterioration in 1989. To help improve its ability to serve as a clinical laboratory in the region, ZRDCL has instituted comprehensive training programs for all levels of staff. These programs range from two-hour seminars at the laboratory to three-month attachment programmes at organisations in other areas of the world, such as the United States Food and Drug Administration. The laboratory also participates in collaborative studies with other agencies. For example, ZRDCL worked with the WHO Action Programme on Essential Drugs and the Zimbabwe Essential Drugs Action Programme on a study of changes in the quality of drugs during inland shipments. In the future, ZRDCL plans to establish a regional drug quality databank, begin vaccine analysis, and begin distilling used solvents to solve shortage problems. The laboratory hopes to one day establish satellite laboratories throughout the country to assist with its work. (Abstract by Flannery Bowman, 2013)

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