A regional seminar for OIE National Focal Points for veterinary products was held in Mombasa, Kenya, from 20 to 22 March 2012. The workshop was co-funded by the European Union project Better Training for Safer Food (BTSF) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), USA.
Twenty five focal points from English speaking countries of Angola, Botswana, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe attended the meeting.
The seminar benefited from six experts from three of the four OIE collaborating centres dedicated to veterinary products (FDA and USDA in USA, ANSES in France), three regional experts from the East African Community, the University of Pretoria in South Africa, the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe and one expert from the Pharmacy and Poison Board of Kenya.
The OIE activities were described in detail, the roles of the OIE National Focal Points being clearly outlined. Also, the OIE Terrestrial and Aquatic Codes and Manuals were presented. The twinning programme, PVS assessment and Gap Analysis and veterinary legislation were explained. Finally, the strategy of the OIE regarding veterinary products was described.
Several presentations were given so as to provide the participants with knowledge on the OIE standards on veterinary products. The issue of the control of drugs and vaccines was dealt with through a presentation on inspection systems, monitoring plans and the monitoring of distribution of vaccines. Also, counterfeiting of drugs and their negative impacts were explained. The problem of MRL concept, the withdrawal period and residue monitoring plans were described in detail to illustrate the OIE standards on the responsible use of veterinary products. A software was presented to clarify how to determine drug withdrawal periods. Chapters 6.7 and 6.8 of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code were presented to highlight the issue on antimicrobial resistance. The structure and the organisation of VICH (International Cooperation on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Veterinary Medicinal Products) was presented with special emphasis on the elaboration of guidelines.
Several presentations shedding light on the current situation on the regulation of veterinary pharmacies in some parts of Africa were given. The harmonisation of regulations related to veterinary products in East African Community and the role of the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Kenya were described. Also, the registration, inspection and control of the distribution network in Zimbabwe and the regulation of veterinary products in South Africa were presented.
Two working groups were organized during the seminar : one on practical exercise on the use of VICH guidelines and the other on the establishment of a residue monitoring plan.