The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) on Tuesday (November 24) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cuban Embassy in Ghana, to collaborate with sister institutions for mutual capacity building.
Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, the Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, signed for Ghana, while Mr Pedro Luis Despaigne Gonzalez, the Cuban Ambassador, signed for his country.
Mrs Darko said although Ghana’s collaboration with Cuba dated almost 40 years, with both countries enjoying reciprocal cooperation in areas of training health professionals and technology transfer, it was the first time of collaborating with pharmaceutical and drug manufacturing industries to learn from each other.
She said the present collaboration between the two countries started two years ago with the signing of an MoU with the Ministry of Health, and acknowledged the fact that as an institution under the Ministry, the FDA stood to benefit immensely from Cuba’s advancement in Science.
There would, therefore, be an exchange of knowledge and support between sister institutions in the two countries for their mutual benefit to ensure the right products were made available for both their citizens, she said.
Mrs Darko said in Ghana about 30 per cent of medicines were manufactured locally, while Cuba had about 50 per cent, so the MoU would help each other in improving the capacities of their local industries for better outcomes.
Mr Gonzalez, expressed his excitement about the collaboration, saying the two countries shared the common will to strengthen, expand and deepen bilateral relations.
He said the MOU would help intensify cooperation in health promotion to achieve wider mutual benefits in the socio-economic development of both countries.
Cuba had since 1983 supported the healthcare system in Ghana by bringing in doctors to work, he said.
Mr Gonzalez said the COVID-19 pandemic had more than ever brought to the fore the need for strengthened collaboration among institutions and nations to learn from one another, and to ensure quality healthcare for their populations.
Cuba, he said, was still developing and had its own pharmaceutical manufacturing industries, while conducting various researches into obtaining vaccines including its current candidate COVID-19 vaccines.
Mr Gonzalez said Cuba’s diplomatic relations with Ghana had been very solid and mutually beneficial, which would extend not only to Africa but the rest of the worldwide.
He expressed his country’s continuous commitment towards improving health, education and other sectors of the country.