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A Seminar on quality control of veterinary drugs was held in Niamey (Niger) from 8 to 12 December 1997. The Seminar was organised by the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) and the Government of the Republic of Niger, with the support of the State Secretariat for Cooperation and French-speaking countries of the French Republic.

The seminar brought together biologists, pharmacists and veterinarians responsible for the registration and control of veterinary drugs in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.

The seminar was given by experts from the OIE Collaborating Centre for Veterinary Drugs, Fougeres (France), the Central Laboratory for Livestock Production (Labocel: Laboratoire central de l'elevage) and the National Public Health and Evaluation Laboratory (Lanspex: Laboratoire national de sante publique et d'expertise), Niamey, the Pan-African Veterinary Vaccine Centre (PANVAC), Debre-Zeit (Ethiopia) and the Centre for International Cooperation in Agronomic Research for Development, Department of Animal Husbandry and Tropical Veterinary Medicine (CIRAD-EMVT: Centre de cooperation internationale en recherche agronomique pour le developpement – Departement d'elevage et de medecine veterinaire tropicale), Montpellier (France).

The Seminar programme included lectures on theoretical aspects followed by practical sessions. The main topics covered were quality control, marketing authorisation, good manufacturing practices and export licensing for vaccines and chemically defined drugs.

At the end of the Seminar fifteen recommendations were adopted with the aim of alleviating any deficiencies still existing in French-speaking African countries in terms of veterinary drug control, registration and quality.

The recommendations made by the Seminar included:

  • The creation or strengthening of national laboratories for the control of veterinary drugs and the designation of regional reference laboratories, which would receive technical support from the OIE Collaborating Centre in Fougeres.
  • The development, or strengthening, of national legislation on veterinary pharmacy with a team of State inspectors to ensure compliance.
  • The improvement of quality control of veterinary drugs, and especially of vaccines, with the technical support of PANVAC.
  • The continuation of information and training activities already undertaken by the OIE in the field of veterinary drug control. This control could be improved and harmonised (including that of imported products) with the agreement of the OIE Regional Commission for Africa.

All these recommendations should help to strengthen regional cooperation in French-speaking Africa, with the aim of stemming the proliferation of unauthorised veterinary drugs. The lack of innocuity and efficacy of such drugs may well jeopardise animal health and public health, and discredit both the veterinary profession and the public authorities.

The OIE, the world organisation for animal health, was created in 1924 and has its headquarters in Paris. It brings together 147 countries, Delegates from which form an “International Committee”, and is based on the work of four specialised Commissions and five regional Commissions.<br/> <br/> Its task is to inform and advise the Veterinary Services of its Member Countries in order to contribute to the eradication of the most dangerous animal diseases for animals and humans and to determine the health standards for international trade.

Paris, 15 December 1997

Contact : Maria Zampaglione