Tuesday, 25 April 2017

MCAZ Boss scoops Prestigious United States Pharmacopeia based Medicines Regulatory Honors Award

The United States Pharmacopeia Convention (USP) honored four leading African women for their contributions towards science and public health, during the Center for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training (CePAT) Honors program held on the 14th of January 2017, in Accra, Ghana. One of the honorees to this prestigious event was Zimbabwe’s own Director-General for the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ), Ms Gugu N. Mahlangu. The USP-CePAT mission is to build a strong, sustainable global health workforce to meet Africa’s needs and this year Ms Mahlangu was honored for her 30-year career towards medicines regulation. In 2012, Ms Mahlangu was appointed as a Director-General of the Authority overseeing the organization’s mandate to ensure that safe, effective and quality medicines and medical devices are distributed in Zimbabwe. Ms Mahlangu has helped shape MCAZ into one of Africa’s success stories by expanding and improving the services it offers not only locally or regionally but internationally with a special focus on innovation and capacity development.  In 1989, she helped convert all dossier files for medicine registration into a computerized registration database. Furthermore, she was instrumental in setting the organization to become an autonomous agency in 1997 allowing the Authority to make independent regulatory decisions.

Ms Mahlangu has helped shape MCAZ into one of Africa’s success stories by expanding and improving the services it offers not only locally or regionally but internationally with a special focus on innovation and capacity development.  In 1989, she helped convert all dossier files for medicine registration into a computerized registration database. Furthermore, she was instrumental in setting the organization to become an autonomous agency in 1997 allowing the Authority to make independent regulatory decisions.


One of her proudest accomplishments has been participating in a joint-World Health Organization (WHO) capacity-building program that resulted in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) accreditation and the WHO prequalification of the MCAZ’s Chemistry Laboratory.  Being pre-qualified means that medicines control testing at the laboratory meets international standards. This recognition has resulted in MCAZ expanding its testing services and regulatory training to other several African countries such as Tanzania, Ethiopia and Sudan. This August, MCAZ celebrates 20 years of safeguarding and protecting the public’s right to good quality medicines and medical devices, a milestone which demonstrates Ms Mahlangu’s effective and steadfast leadership.

Pharmacy as well as a Masters in Business Administration. Locally she has served in various capacities on the Health Professions Council, Pharmacists’ Council of Zimbabwe, Pharmaceutical Society of Zimbabwe, Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe and the board for National Pharmaceutical Company. Internationally, she has worked with WHO on the harmonization of regulatory activities and capacity development for national regulatory agencies. She is a member of several WHO bodies including its Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Evaluation; International Working Group on Drug Statistics Methodology; Advisory Committee on Safety of Medicinal Products and Expert Committee on Specification of Pharmaceutical Preparations.

The other award recipients honored at the same occasion were:
•    Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius
•    Malebona Precious Matsoso, Director-General, National Department of Health, South Africa
•    Clavenda Parker, Liberia’s first female pharmacist and former Head of the Liberia’s Medicine and Health Product Authority.
 

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