Dodoo A.N.O., Ampadu H.H. Chapter 17: Pharmacovigilance in Africa. WHO Collaborating Centre for Advocacy and Training in Pharmacovigilance, University of Ghana Medical. Mann’s Pharmacovigilance, Third Edition.
Pharmacovigilance (PV) is new to Africa, and most PV systems in Africa are in their infancy. Prior to 2000, only five national PV centers in Africa were members of the WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring. Several reasons account for this, including the absence of national drug regulatory authorities, destabilizing civil and political strife, and lack of human and financial resources. The last 20 years, however, have seen seismic shifts in the political, civil, and healthcare environment in Africa. The 55 countries that constitute geographical Africa are now committed to democratic principles, and the global community has increased its support towards strengthening national health systems. Initiatives like the Global Fund against HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, the United Nations AIDS Programme (UNAIDS), and UNITAID have brought huge financial resources to improve access to life-saving medicines and health commodities in Africa. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and UNICEF have also leveraged resources to provide vaccines for infants. In addition to these resources have been the billions of dollars provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the (US) President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR/ Emergency Plan) and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) towards providing medicines for HIV/ AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. This huge influx of resources has dramatically increased access to medicines for millions of people in Africa, and this has highlighted the need for strong and effective health systems to ensure that these health commodities are used rationally and that they are safe and of good quality. The need for PV could not be more obvious.