(March 23, 2023-Monrovia): The Chairman of the newly-constituted Board of Directors of the Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA), Pharmacist Luke Bawo, has admonished his colleagues on the Board to be supportive of management’s work, rather than being antagonistic.
Remarking during the Induction and Orientation Meeting of the Board of Directors held on Friday, March 17, 2023, in the conference room of the authority, Board Chairman Luke Bawo called for deepened cooperation and collaboration between the authority, Ministry of Health, Pharmacy Board as well as all those in the pharmaceutical sector of Liberia.
According to him, the task of the Board is not to directly implement the activities of the entity but to support and provide guidance proffered by management to the board.
“Because ultimately, the achievement or failure of the authority is the collective achievement or failure of the board, as well as the management,” Pharmacist Bawo, emphasized.
Board Chairman Bawo also encouraged management to digitize the system to provide easy service delivery and improve the authority's operations.
Serving as Induction Officer of the newly-constituted Board, Deputy Health Minister for Planning, Policy, Monitoring, and Evaluation of the Ministry of Health, Pharmacist Varfee Tulay, noted that the work of the Board of Directors of any institution is depending on the nature of work of that particular entity which is paramount to their growth and development.
According to him, members of the Board are the final decision-makers; therefore, they should serve as the monitors and evaluators of the works of the authority.
“When I listened to the constitution of the new LMHRA Board, I was overwhelmed because of the expertise of persons appointed,” Minister Tulay asserted.
Deputy Minister Tulay lauded the tremendous achievements of the LMHRA, especially in the area of confiscation of substandard and falsified medicines.
Giving the overview of the Board of Director’s Induction and Orientation meeting, the Managing Director of the LMHRA, Pharmacist Keturah Smith-Chineh, said the objective of the meeting was to officially induct the new board and as well familiarize members of the board with the mandate of the LMHRA as well as activities and ongoing works of the various departments and units.
Managing Director Smith-Chineh’s officially congratulated the new member on their appointments and call for a more cordial and productive working relationship over the tenure of their roles.
Outlining some achievements of the authority, Managing Director Smith-Chineh pointed out the improvement of the Internet Communications and Technology (ICT) infrastructure; functional internet connectivity; training of staff; cloud-based data system for client services; website, social media platforms for visibility of the authority’s activities and awareness and the construction of the Ultra-modern state-of-the-art Quality Control Lab.
The LMHRA MD also outlined an increase in public awareness, bulk SMS to the public; discouraging the purchase of substandard and falsified medicines from street peddlers; attainment of health insurance for all employees; provision of buses for central staff, the Quality Control Laboratory and also the procurement of additional, vehicles for Region Two and Three of the authority.
Pharmacist Smith-Chineh also pointed out the procurement of solar panels to beef up and provide full-time electricity to the laboratory. According to her, the LMHRA hopes to improve the regulatory system and guidelines that are being developed to keep up with the World Health Organization Global Benchmarking Tools for regulatory agencies.
Despite the meager resources of the authority, Managing Director Smith-Chineh informed the Board of plans to further provide visibility of the entity in the southeastern part of Liberia before the end of this year.
During the induction and orientation meeting, the Head of Human Resources as well as the Directors of the four Technical Departments of the authority made separate presentations, showcasing their activities and achievements to the new board members.