The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has safely disposed of some expired and unwholesome products worth GH₵312,720.00 in the Upper East Region.
The disposal was done through burning at the Sherigu refuse dump in the Bolgatanga Municipality, in the presence of major stakeholders including the Environmental Health and Sanitation Agency, Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service and the media among others.
The items were seized from the marketplaces, over-the-counter medicine seller shops, provision shops, pharmacies, drug warehouses, herbal shops, and medical centres across the 15 Municipal and Districts in the region.
Mr Sebastian Mawuli Hotor, the Regional Head of FDA, said the disposal was in line with the FDA’s established mandate and the provision spelled out in the Public Health Act of 2012, Act 851 to regulate and undertake disposal of expired and unwholesome products in the country.
He said the exercise was a routine one where FDA periodically undertook inspection exercises and seized regulated products that had expired or were unwholesome and posed a danger to public health and safety.
This, he said, was to ensure that all products consumed by the public were safe and healthy and did not endanger people’s lives as well as prevent re-entry of such products unto the market.
“FDA wishes to emphasize that ensuring public health safety is our prime objective and that our activities are always geared toward providing assurance of safe food, drugs, cosmetics, household chemicals, medical devices and all regulated products in Ghana,” he said.
The Regional Head advised the public to be vigilant and circumspect by checking the date of expiration, accreditation and good storage practice of products before purchasing any regulated product, to avoid risks.
Due to their efforts and sensitization, Mr Hotor noted, most of the regulated shops and institutions had begun engaging the FDA in their operations and some had asked for disposal certificates to safely dispose of their expired products which enabled them to get tax rebates on their expired products.
Mr Hotor said although the FDA had not yet prosecuted anyone in the region for non-compliance because the defaulters usually acknowledge their offence, such stores had been closed down to ensure safety while they were made to pay for the disposal and other costs.
He said, “safe disposal of food and drugs are the sole responsibility and duty of the FDA per the Public Health Act 2012, Act 851 and so all need to note and ensure that when you have expired products in your facility, just alert the FDA and we know what to do because we have been trained on how to dispose of expired products so that we can all ensure public health.”