‘MCAZ must strive to attain top global benchmark

The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) has been challenged to upscale its regulatory framework and attain the World Health Organisation’s global benchmarking tool maturity level 3 by year end.

Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Constantino Chiwenga told the MCAZ annual meeting in Harare yesterday that it should speed up the work required to meet the WHO recommendations in achieving level 3 so this was done by year end.

Zimbabwe is stepping up efforts towards universal health coverage of quality, consistent with an empowered upper-middle income economy and more advanced medicinal regulation has been identified as a vital cog.

Zimbabwe, which has one of the most advanced and thorough medical regulatory frameworks on the African continent, already boasts of WHO medicinal regulatory certification, at maturity level 2.

ML3 confirms a stable, well-functioning and integrated regulatory system is in place, pledging Government’s readiness to work with the MCAZ to make the attainment of level 3 a reality.

A WHO delegation visited Zimbabwe in May this year and made recommendations on what MCAZ needs to do to get to the next stage, level 3.

“I am aware that the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe is geared to attain the World Health Organisation global benchmarking tool, maturity level 3,” said VP Chiwenga. 

“I challenge you to achieve this important goal by the end of this year. The global benchmarking tool is designed to benchmark the regulatory programmes of a variety of product types, including medicines, vaccines, blood products, and medical devices.

“I am informed that the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe and the World Health Organisation have been in constant communication as the authority works towards meeting the World Health Organisation’s recommendations.”

VP Chiwenga hoped that after this exercise, the country would be granted the maturity level 3.

Under the Second Republic, Zimbabwe has signed several corporation agreements with sister medical regulators on the African continent.

To date, MCAZ has collaborated and interfaced with medical regulators from Egypt Drugs Authority, Malawi’s Pharmacy and Medicines Regulatory Authority, and Rwandan Food and Drug Authority, which came for study tours of its quality management systems.

VP Chiwenga also challenged MCAZ to come up with innovative ways to fight the growing scourge of drug and substance abuse that has mainly affected youths. 

“In light of the changing landscape of the pharmaceutical industry, I urge the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe to adapt and embrace innovative approaches to regulating medicines to ensure the safety and efficacy of medicines,” said VP Chiwenga.

“The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe has to accelerate their strategic goal to fully automate all their systems by 2026.

“Government expects the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe to take a leading role in addressing contemporary challenges facing the country. 

“It is now common cause that drug and substance abuse has become a pandemic in our country as we continue to lose a generation to this menace.”

VP Chiwenga said MCAZ has been incorporated into the technical committee of the National Drug and Substance Abuse Committee.

The committee was tasked with formulating and implementing strategies to combat drug and substance abuse.

In this regard, MCAZ is expected to use its expertise to guide the nation in the fight against drug and substance abuse, said VP Chiwenga.


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