Uganda was chosen as the host of the 40th annual meeting of representatives of National Pharmacovigilance Centres (NPC) participating in the WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring (PIDM) in view of its remarkable progress in the safety of medicines on the African continent. The goal of the PIDM is to provide evidence-based support to countries to guide the safe use of health technologies (devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures and systems) inpatients.
It is indeed an honor for the ten-year-old Ugandan Pharmacovigilance Centre to be chosen as the next destination for the 125 countries to discuss issues of drug safety in a collegial atmosphere. This meeting is intended to share best practice and to demonstrate efficient methodologies in Pharmacovigilance while strengthening bilateral and multilateral partnerships. This is a time to showcase Africa’s progress in pharmacovigilance since 1992 when the first 2 African countries joined the programme.
Pharmacovigilance (PV) is the science and activities relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects or any other drug-related problem. The drug-related problems include medication errors, drug abuse and misuse, substandard, falsified and poor quality products. Uganda was the first country in Africa to decentralize pharmacovigilance. The NPC has been building a field-force of young and committed pharmacovigilantes in the regional pharmacovigilance centres that is largely voluntary. Collaboration with the AIDS Control programme has also seen the NPC pilot the new method of targeted spontaneous reporting of adverse drug reactions, developed by WHO. This and more of our progress will be shared at this prestigious event.
The meeting will take place in Kampala to enable participants to partake of this, our beautiful country, named the “Pearl of Africa” by Sir Winston Churchill in1908. NDA has hosted other international meetings like the 8thAfrican Vaccine Regulator’s Forum and several regional meetings but none to this magnitude. Let us embrace an opportunity to promote NDA and to market our motherland, Uganda; a country gifted by nature. A time to bring in revenue in the form of foreign currency and to promote tourism, our biggest revenue source is here. Let us join hands. DID is relying on your support; ideas, physical and material support.