Counterfeit medicine from Asia threatens lives in Africa

From Global development | The Guardian Sun Dec 23 2012, 11:33:44

Malaria is one of the diseases affected by unscrupulous traders in fake and substandard drugs

International health experts are warning of a mounting health crisis in parts of Africa because of an influx of counterfeit medicine from Asia that is playing havoc with the treatment of diseases such as malaria. Porous borders in Africa coupled with indifferent oversight in China are combining to turn the continent and its pressing health problems into a free-for-all for maverick manufacturers, some of whom are producing pills with no active ingredients at all.

Precise data is hard to track down because of the informal nature of African health systems. But several recent studies warn that as many as one-third of malaria drugs in Uganda and Tanzania are fake or substandard, with most believed to originate in China or India.

Apart from the lives lost, there are additional concerns about drug resistance building in east Africa, experts say. "It's a crisis any time someone dies," Nick White, who chairs the Wellcome Trust's south-east Asia major overseas programmes and the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (Wwarn). "It's a massive problem that people have simply ignored. It's not like a boil that's beginning to burst because it's been a problem for a long time. What has happened is we are beginning to recognise it more."

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse

You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Uganda:   Kayanja Showed a Good Example (editorial)
The Observer
7 October 2015

Professor Frederick Kayanja, the former long-serving vice chancellor of Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) and now chancellor of Gulu University, has done something many people of his ... [read more]

Uganda:   Large Youth Population Is Important for Agriculture, Says Agra (news)
The Monitor
7 October 2015

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has come up with a report which reveals that Africa's large youth population could be its greatest asset. The report "Youth in Agriculture in ... [read more]

Uganda:   Police Form Body to Crack Down Social Media Crimes (news)
The Monitor
7 October 2015

Police in Uganda are not taking cyber-crime via Facebook lightly. The latest development is that the force is working with ministry of Internal Affairs to form a working group that will intervene to ... [read more]

blogAfrica is's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!

Today's Featured News
Mozambique Ruling Party Faces Tough Contest

Renamo supporters: Ruling Frelimo faces a stern challenge at Wednesday's polls from...

Surge in Central African Republic Violence

African Union troops in Bangui (file photo): The UN has expressed alarm...

Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana Get Crucial Wins

Asamoah Gyan of Ghana (file photo): The Super Eagles have boosted their...