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24.11.2005 General News

University of Ghana Medical School wins award

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Accra, Nov. 24, GNA - The National Centre for Pharmacovigilance at the University of Ghana Medical School has been awarded the best abstract award at the Sixth Meeting of the International Society for Pharmacovigilance in Manila, Philipines.

A statement in Accra on Thursday by Dr Alex Dodoo, Coordinator of the National Centre for Pharmacovigilance, said Ghana's paper on the safety monitoring of sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine usage in pregnant women won the award from a field of over 100 other abstracts from world renowned experts and scientists in drug safety.

Dr Dodoo received the award, which included a textbook on clinical pharmacology and 4,900 dollars of scientific subscriptions, at a meeting attended by the Philippine President Ferdinand Ramos. The President of the International Society for Pharmacovigilance, Professor Giampaolo Velo of Italy praised the hard work of the Ghana Centre, which had supported several countries in Africa to set up safety monitoring systems.

He said he was pleased at the practical approach to safety monitoring adopted by Ghana and asked other countries to follow Ghana's example.

The statement said the Director of the World Health Organisation Programme for International Drug Monitoring, Professor Ralph Edwards expressed appreciation to Ghana for bringing fresh ideas and renewed initiative into global drug safety and urged the country to help many more countries in Africa set up systems for drug safety monitoring. He said he was pleased that Ghana's approach of using both the mass media and scientific publications to engage the public was gaining fruits and other countries, including some developed ones, were learning from her.

The statement said Prof. Edwards applauded the partnership between the University of Ghana and the National Malaria Control Programme and the National AIDS Control Programme to monitor the safety of drugs used in these programmes.

He also praised Ghana's role in helping to field test the global database on medicine safety.

Dr Dodoo expressed his appreciation for the award and praised the Ghana Health Service and National Malaria Control Programme for incorporating safety monitoring into the anti-malaria drug policy change right from the beginning.

He pledged the commitment of the Ghana Medical School to this activity and assured African countries that Ghana would be willing to lend its scientific and intellectual support towards the establishment of safety monitoring systems on the continent.

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