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CoM Pharmacy goes abroad

Department staff travel regularly  to teach or research abroad and to set up collaborations with other academics.

In 2017, Dr. KK Nyirenda visited Qingdao University in eastern China to present his research on ethnic processing technologies on reduction and composition of total and non-glucosidic cyanogens in cassava at the 3rd International Conference on Agricultural and Biological Sciences. He has been asked to be a reviewer for future conferences and he developed a joint project with Professor Vladimir Matichenkov on Jatropha oil. In early 2019 he was at University of Pretoria to extend our collaboration in herbal chemistry and will be in China again.

Mrs Nettie Dzabala visited Tübingen University as part of the DAAD scheme and gave lectures on pharmacovigilance in Malawi. She also met funders, and discussed research projects with German researchers. In Italy, she spoke at the Monash University-sponsored conference on best practice in pharmacy education. She found it a great conference for networking with other pharmacy teachers and for sharing ideas.

In Seoul, South Korea, she attended the 2017 International Pharmacy Federation Academic Section and discussed the transformation of pharmacy education throughout the world. She was able to share the changes in Malawi and compare with other developing countries. She followed up with a visit to Glasgow for the 2018 meeting where she was on the education committee.

An international panel with Mrs Dzabala on the left.


Mr John Mponda represented Malawi at an international symposium on the regulation of herbal and traditional medicines at Bonn University, Germany. He returned saying he had a new appreciation of how global the problems of traditional and herbal medicines regulation truly are. Regulation is not just about products but about users and practices which all have an impact on the quality of the product. he says “Regulations have to be brought in urgently but in a step-wise manner to build up an health adequate system in Malawi.” In 2019 he is heading to University of Ibadan, Nigeria to work on a PhD project.

Dr Felix Khaluza was also a busy man this year. He was a technical member in the drafting and review of The Pharmacy Medicines and Poisons Act/bill in several meetings. He hopes that the Bill may be presented to parliament in 2019. He was also involved in drafting regulations and guidelines for herbal medicines in Malawi through the Pharmacy Medicines and Poisons Board.  He said: “The issue of herbal products is affecting a lot of individuals and the Ministry of Health and various international partners have been itching for their control. This is because the way  herbal products are being promoted, is causing a lot of HIV infected patients to stop taking the right medicines and by the time they return to hospitals, the damage is already done.”

The regulation and Guidelines were presented to MOH and are awaiting further processing by Ministry of Justice.

In August 2017 he went to Nigeria with CARTA fellows from Malawi, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Nigeria for an advanced seminar on research writing and in September 2018 he presented his research at an Oxford conference on falsified and substandard medicines along with presentations from Visiting Professor Lutz Heide and Research Student Nhomsai Hagen. (Keble College, Oxford below.)

The conference produced a consensus statement on substandard and falsified medicines:

 Every person has the right to expect that when they use a medical product, whether medicine, vaccine or diagnostic kit, it works. But too often, that is not the case.  Substandard medical products result from errors, negligence or poor practice in manufacturing, transportation and/or storage. In contrast, falsified products result from criminal fraud. Both innovative and generic products are affected. 

While substandard and falsified (SF) medical products are found worldwide, they are more prevalent in countries with under-resourced national medicine regulatory authorities (NMRAs).

Representatives of governments, national and international agencies, non-governmental organisations, professional associations and academic institutions participated in the 1st International Conference on Medicine Quality & Public Health at Keble College, Oxford 23-28 September 2018.

The conference discussed the latest evidence on the epidemiology of SF medical products, their health, economic, social, legal and ethical implications, and debated interventions to ensure that all the world’s population have access to affordable and quality-assured medical products. 

The organisations comprising the #MedsWeCanTrust Campaign and others listed below reached consensus that:

a/ The quality of medical products is critical to protect lives globally. Substandard and falsified medical products negate the benefits of access to modern healthcare, especially for the most vulnerable.

b/ We must work collaboratively across sectors to raise awareness, encourage political will, investment and action to make quality medical products affordable and accessible to all.

c/ We will work in support of WHOs recommendation for the Prevent, Detect and Respond framework against SF medical products and for the global strengthening of medicines regulatory systems.

d/ We call on governments, national and international organisations and funders to prioritise human capacity and financial investment to ensure effective, efficient and consistent quality assurance by all NMRAs, including improved data sharing and harmonisation, with linked efficient procurement and supply systems leading to equitable access and improved global health.