The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has called on the public to look out for expiry dates of products as they shop for Christmas.
The state agency responsible for the inspection, certification and proper distribution of foods and food products as well as drugs in the country said the consuming public needed to be on the lookout and be aware of the dangers of unwholesome products on the market.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols and staff awards organised by the FDA in Tema yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Authority, Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, assured the public that the FDA would on a daily basis continue with its market surveillance and look out for expired, unregistered and unwholesome products to get them off the market.
In her speech at the event, the FDA boss said:“ The public health and safety of the citizens of this country rests squarely on the integrity of each individual in our organisation. “
She, therefore, urged all staff members to be honest, remain disciplined and carry out their functions with honour and pride.
“ One person can make a difference and it is our collective effort that makes our organisation credible and trustworthy.” she said.
Achievement of goals
Mrs Darko stated that in spite of the numerous challenges that confronted the FDA during the year, the Authority succeeded in achieving each of the goals it set for itself, adding that working together, the staff had made significant strides in their performance in the year.
She said at the beginning of the year, the whole nation relied on FDA’s technical assessments of the COVID-19 vaccines and the expert advice for the successful on-boarding and deployment of the five vaccines which had been approved for use in the country.
Mrs Darko said the professionalism and commitment to duty exhibited by the staff won the FDA the admiration of many, including the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo, who, in a number of addresses to the nation. commended the FDA for its efforts.
She disclosed that the FDA, in the short to medium term, was looking forward to establishing a strong support system that would enable the food and drugs industries produce quality made in Ghana products as the Authority was working to support the local enterprises to take advantage of the tariff free intra-Africa trade opportunities that the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) offered.
She said the country, through the FDA, continued to make significant strides in tobacco control in line with the country’s obligations under the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
Mrs Darko added that this year, the country successfully ratified the Protocol on Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products which would take effect on January 20, 2022.
She, therefore, urged the staff to intensify public education and sensitisation activities in the coming year.
“Our market surveillance activities have also resulted in several product recalls and public alert notices which have won us public confidence and admiration,” she stated.
Awards were presented to staff who distinguished themselves in their various departments, including the Colleague of the Year, and the Overall Best Staff of the Year which went to Mr Andrew Buabeng.