Cabinet Approves Dissolution of NDA for NFDA Top story

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In short
Ultimately, Cabinet hopes that the NFDA will be in a better position to protect our country from threats to human/animal health arising from items like ill-prepared genetically modified foods, medicines and concoctions of food supplements.

CABINET APPROVES THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE NATIONAL DRUG AUTHORITY INTO THE NATIONAL FOOD AND MEDICINES AUTHORITY
 
July 17th 2014

Cabinet has approved the transformation of the National Drug Authority (NDA) into a National Food and Drug Authority (NFDA). This change will broaden the authority’s regulatory mandate to encompass items currently not provided for under the National Drug Policy and Authority Act, 1993.
 
Accordingly, to ensure that our citizens are better protected, apart from drugs, new items to be regulated by the NFDA include food, food supplements and other materials. Cabinet realized that Uganda has recurrent outbreaks of food related diseases and there is a risk of the presence of counterfeit, dumping of expired and substandard foods and feeds on the market.
 
Cabinet also realized that Uganda currently has a multi-agency food safety control system with limited coordination. As a result, food safety and quality infrastructure have been disjointed. NFDA will now be a one stop Centre regulator. Specific action-points arising from the transformation of the NDA into NFDA include:
 
  • • Adoption of an integrated approach for regulation of food and medicines.
  • • Establishment and maintenance of an effective national food and medicines safety control system. The system will be managed by government, with central direction and coordination, with synchronized efforts of all actors involved food and medicine production, distribution and control in Uganda.
  • • Government’s primary role regarding food and medicine safety will be to enforce standards to prevent food and medicines’ related hazards in Uganda.
  • • The private sector will be required to conform to the standards set by government and to produce and/or distribute items safe for public consumption.
  • • Consumers will be sensitized to take part in tracking and reporting on food and medicines’ safety standards.
  • • The national food and medicine control system will promote consumer awareness of safe handling practices for food and medicines.
 
Uganda will co-operate more closely with sister countries in the East African Community, International Governments and inter-governmental agencies on food and medicines safety and quality.
 
Ultimately, Cabinet hopes that the NFDA will be in a better position to protect our country from threats to human/animal health arising from items like ill-prepared genetically modified foods, medicines and concoctions of food supplements.
 
Cosmetic known to contain hazardous skin lightening chemicals like mercury and hydroquinone will not be tolerated. Abuse of some of these cosmetics is already exposing some of our people to health risks like diabetes, hypertension, kidney ailments and heart disease.
 
Cabinet also sought to reign in blood based products sometimes categorized as pharmaceutical products with the risk of exposing patient to blood transmitted diseases like Hepatitis B. Some biological products like hormones also categorized as pharmaceutical products if not effectively regulated may also expose consumers to diseases like diabetes, hypertension, kidney damage and heart disease.
 
Since these are health concerns, Cabinet has also directed the Ministry of Health to urgently commence the process of drafting amendments to the National Drug Policy and Authority Act, 1993, to pave way for creation of the NFDA. When the Bill gets to Parliament, Cabinet will also appeal for bi-partisan support due the urgency to protect enhance protection of our citizens.