Counterfeit drugs raise Africa’s temperature - minister

14Feb 2018
James Kandoya
DAR ES SALAAM
The Guardian
Counterfeit drugs raise Africa’s temperature - minister

DEPUTY Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Faustine Ndungulile has said that the production and usage of fake drugs is a still big problem facing African nations.

DEPUTY Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Faustine Ndungulile

He made the remarks yesterday in Dar es Salaam when opening the African Medicines Quality Forum—AMQF that was organised by the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), United States Pharmacopeia Convention (USP and Tanzania Food and drug authority (TFDA).

He said it was so important for African countries to set strategies aiming to control the production of drugs in collaboration with stakeholders to ensure that drugs used by member states meet quality standards.

“African countries incur huge losses resulted from use of fake drugs. As a result some of people die and others are advised to use alternative drugs. All these lead to death of individuals as well as nation at large,” he said.

The deputy minister admitted that to control over the increase of fake drugs, African nations have put strategic plans aiming to control the supply and usage of those drugs.

He admitted that Tanzania was among countries which succeeded to control such drugs that was  the reason why the   meeting was being held in the country in order that other countries could take a leaf from Tanzania.

He added that Tanzania was among countries which had met international standards adding that the only challenge was to control drugs entering through porous routes.

Elaborating more, he said TFDA had started working on the issue by opening zonal offices aimed at combating unfaithfully dealers to bring in fake drugs.

 For his part, TFDA acting director general Agnes Kijo said that Tanzania has modern laboratories built in every region  to control the problem.

"All is done to ensure and control standards of drugs supplied in our markets and used by our people,” he said.

NEPAD head of programme, Margareth Ndomondo, said that regulatory authorities should formulate a joint system that will help to control the supply and the use of fake drugs in African countries.

The meeting involved participants from African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameron, Ivory Coast, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Guinea and South Africa.