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Ascend project lessons learned: Involving the Zambia medicines regulatory authority in Pharmacovigilance Training

18th October 2021

Adverse events, including serious adverse events, as a reaction to medicines may occur during a Mass Drug Administration (MDA) campaign, but are outweighed by the benefits of administering the medicines. However, it is important that medicine recipients and their caretakers (in case recipient is a child) are well informed about potential side effects and about the benefits of taking the medicines. This will allow medicine recipients and health workers respond adequately to potential side effects, prevent serious events and help identifying rare side effects. It is essential to involve knowledgeable staff during MDA implementation to adequately inform communities about side effects.

The Ascend programme has supported MDAs in Zambia, and collaborated with the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) on these campaigns. The Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) is the Statutory National body responsible for the regulation and control of the supply of medicines in the country, including the processes of manufacturing, registration, import, storage, sale, distribution, and use of medicines. One of their specific mandates relates to pharmacovigilance i.e. detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects or any other possible medicine-related problems.

The collaboration between the Ascend programme and ZAMRA included technical input from ZAMRA on guidelines for supply chain management and being involved in MDA training and implementation. This lessons learned brief explores benefits, opportunities and lessons learned from involvement of ZAMRA in MDA implementation in Zambia.

Download the learning brief document below.