The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has embarked on workshops in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions to sensitize stakeholders on controlled substance regulation, the provision of part six of the public health act (Act 851).

The workshops, which form part of FDA’s mandate to ensure public health and safety, was expected to sensitize participants on the tobacco control measures, the dangers associated with the abuse of drugs and to seek workable solutions on ways to curb the increasing abuse of substances such as Tramadol and Codeine containing Cough Syrup (CCS) across the country.

The Head of Tobacco and Substances Abuse Department (TSAD) of the FDA,         Mrs. Olivia Agyemkumwaa Boateng, addressing participants, revealed that the workshop was to train FDA staff and stakeholders on the activities of the TSAD and for them to replicate same in their regions. Mrs. Boateng further explained that the activities of the TSAD included, regulating of tobacco and tobacco products including shisha as well as substances substance of abuse such as Tramadol and Codeine containing Cough Syrups (CCS).

She also informed the stakeholders that  with the current abuse of Tramadol and CCS in the country, the FDA has intensified public education on the dangers of abusing such substances and has also intensified its post market surveillance activities to ensure public health and safety.

The workshops also sought to seek the support of the various stakeholders across the country for the implementation of  the Pictorial Health Warnings (PHW) on tobacco products packages by October, 2018 and also the other tobacco provisions spelt out in the Public Health Act, 2012, (Act 851) and L.I.

Stakeholders present at the workshop included representatives from the Religious and Traditional Council Leaders, National Security, Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), Narcotics Control Board, Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs Division), Ghana Immigration Service and Ghana Police Service, Ghana Prisons Service.

The rest were representatives from  the Ghana Private Road Transport Union, Ghana Education Service, Pharmacy Council, School Health Education Program (SHEP),Over The Counter Medicine Sellers Association, Owners of Public Facilities, Opinion Leaders (including Assembly Members and Zongo Community leaders) and the Media.

The FDA will also host similar workshops across the country to sensitize all relevant stakeholders on the Provisions of Part six of the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851) and Tobacco Control Regulations, 2016 (L.I.2247) as well as the substance of abuse such as Tramadol and codeine CCS.

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