ETHIOPIA – The Food, Medicine Authority of Ethiopia considers decentralizing after the government revealed plans to re-establish the federal authority with a focus on product regulations, leaving services to other agencies, reported the Fortune.

With the new bill awaiting approval and endorsement by parliament, the country seeks to restructure the Food, Medicine & Health Care Administration & Control Authority (FMHACA), something that will see health centres and professional services rendered by other federal and regional entities.

“The draft is expected to be legislated before July 7 and come into effect in the next fiscal year,” said Keyredin Redi (PhD), deputy general director of Customer Service Management of FMHACA.

“The existing political condition of the country and the reshuffle of ministers was also a factor for the delay.”

FMHACA will be restructured into Food & Drug Authority (FDA) mandated to carry out regulations only on food, medicine, tobacco, cosmetics, processed foods and medical devices.

While FMHACA ensured quality, safety and efficiency of health and health-related institutions, healthcare practice, and competence and ethics of health professionals, FDA decentralizes all these responsibilities to the ministries of Health and Science & Technology as well as regional health bureaus.

FMHACA also registers, licenses and inspects health professionals, pharmacies, food establishments, and health institutions.

Keyredin Redi (PhD), deputy general director of Customer Service Management of FMHACA said the re-establishment was initiated two years ago by the Authority as its responsibilities were bulk.

Then, the authority embarked on restructuring plans based on the experiences of countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

According to him, the restructuring will make the Authority focus on handling and rendering regulatory services on products efficiently.

The Authority used to formerly be known as Drug Administration & Control Authority (DACA) after an establishment proclamation that came into effect in June 1999.

Ethiopia is embarking on establishing strong food systems and manufacturing footprint as it plans to construct 17 integrated agro-industrial parks across the regions.

In March, the authority issued a new system which requires the inspection of every food and beverage imported into the country