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Africa Struggling With Fake Medical, Health Products - Official
By Wilfred Gortor
MONROVIA, April 11 (LINA) - An official of the West African Health Organization (WAHO) has said the prevailing rate of counterfeit and illicit medical products on the African market is alarming and that efforts need to be exerted to prevent such unwholesome act.
Dr. Carlos Brito said the proliferation of fake drugs and illicit medicines has overtime contributed to the growing mortality rate in the West African region and as such governments and institutions in the region must take steps to ensure the safety of citizens by providing quality medical services.
Dr. Brito said counterfeit drugs and medical products on the African market range from 10 to 60 percent, while the range on the West African market stands at 30 to 50 percent.
According to him, 64 percent of anti-malaria drugs in 2011 on the Nigerian market were found to be counterfeit which, according to him, is responsible for several medical complications sometime resulting to death.
Dr. Brito, in a presentation on Tuesday, at the ECOWAS Delocalized Meeting, which is underway in Monrovia, disclosed that counterfeit drugs also result to several public health consequences such as poisoning, untreated diseases as well as death.
He also said that the consumption of these fake medical products also serves as a medium for the attraction of chronic infectious diseases, treatment failure and antimicrobial resistance.
Dr. Brito, who is Director for Epidemic and Disease Control at WAHO, in his presentation, outlined support and advocacy from the Health Commission of the ECOWAS Parliament aimed at combating fake drugs in the region.
Among other efforts from ECOWAS Health Commission, he named the implementation of the National Committee and the development of national plans to fight counterfeit medicines in line of the ECOWAS documents.
Dr. Brito also named the adoption of the Counterfeit Medical Products Legal Directive by the Council of Ministers, and the situational analysis of the counterfeit and illicit trade of medicines in the ECOWAS region to establish the trust status of counterfeiting in the region to inform decision-making.
He also named the adoption of the Common External Tariff regulation and its future regulation at national levels as part of supporting efforts from the ECOWAS Parliament to help combat counterfeit medical products.