The founding board of the Botswana Medical Regulatory Authority (BOMRA) which is credited with setting up the institution and transforming it into a world-renowned institution has stepped down.
Stakeholders in the health fraternity took time to bid farewell to the founding board, which was established by the Medicines and Related Substances Act of 2013. The Act laid the foundation for the regulation of medicines locally.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Grace Muzila expressed gratitude to the outgoing BOMRA board members for being tenacious workers.
Muzila said that in BOMRA’s infancy days there were no staff members therefore the board members had to take on the work that should have been delegated to the institution’s managers.
Muzila said that these attributes of tenacity and hard work were seen clearly during the Covid-19 pandemic when the vaccines arrived, because even though there was pressure from all sides to get people vaccinated BOMRA still conducted their due diligence and quality checks to ensure that the vaccines were of good quality.
Muzila said it is not easy to start anything from scratch hence they do not take it lightly that the founding board members have brought the institution this far.
She applauded the founding Board for setting up systems and structures in place because they will help take the medical regulatory authority to new heights.
Outgoing BOMRA board chairperson, Duncan Thele admitted that his excitement of being the newly appointed board chairperson of BOMRA died a few weeks after he agreed to be a part of BOMRA because it was evident that the institution was in its infancy.
Through the obstacles they faced, it brought him great joy to see the institution reach the goals that they had set for themselves. He now sees BOMRA as a facilitator that regulates to have an impact.
“Without transparency, BOMRA will never get anywhere.” Thele urged BOMRA to continue working as a team so that they have a positive impact in their line of work.
“We have had challenges in the past,” Thele said, citing among these, issues of oversight. There are also operational and management issues. Thele advised the new Board to hold management and the CEO responsible for what happens in the institution.
He reassured the incoming board members that his office and the founding board members' offices are open for any assistance at any time.
Incoming board member, Dr. Lorato Mangadi was comforted by the fact that even though the board is exiting, they leave behind great achievements.
The CEO of BOMRA, Dr. Stephen Ghanie reminisced on the occasions that he worked with the board. He said the founding board boasted hardworking individuals who overcame a lot of challenges in their pursuit of building up the organisation.
Ghanie explained that he had made a promise to the board when he joined the organisation to deliver a fully functional authority by the year 2024 He also promised the board that BOMRA will reach maturity level three of the World Health Organisation.