PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre Spotlight Series
Reference Number: CAN-94
Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Standardization and Evaluation of Biologicals
Institution: Biologics and Generics Therapies Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada
Category 4 (SP 14-19)
Outcome 8 (SP 20-25)
Dr. Maria Luz Pombo, Advisor, Vaccines and Biotechnological Products, is the PAHO staff member who supports the WHO focal point to coordinate the collaboration between the institution and the Organization.
The main activities of this Centre include: (1) supporting WHO in the development and implementation of international standards for biologics evaluation; (2) supporting the system strengthening in regulatory authorities by assessing capacities; (3) supporting South-South Cooperation among countries; and (4) promoting lessons learned and best practices among countries.
The Centre supports PAHO in developing workshops on Sanitary Regulation of Biological and Biotechnological Products with 166 participants at the regional level. The Centre also shares experiences during the development and review process of local regulations and supports PAHO/WHO in developing tools, including the WHO Global Benchmarking Tool, a tool assessing regulatory capacities. Lastly, the Centre assists with the promotion of the harmonization and convergence initiatives among regulators.
Dr. Pombo notes “PAHO’s collaboration with the Centre is important because the Centre is very engaged from the beginning in the identification of strengths and areas for improvement in the Region thus a tailor-oriented cooperation is built upon.”
Webnotes such as these serve to inform how Collaborating Centres are contributing to the Organization’s priorities and mandates.