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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Combatting the influx of counterfeit medicine in Africa, by Chofor Che, 28 February 2013


International health specialists have warned of a growing health calamity in several parts of Africa as a result of an influx of counterfeit medicine from Asia and other parts of the world. According to an article by The Guardian, dated 23 December 2012, negligent central governments in Africa coupled with indifferent oversight from states like China are combining to turn the continent and its pressing health issues into a ‘free-for-all for maverick manufacturers’, some of whom are producing fake medication with no active ingredients at all.

In 2012 the Secretary General of the national pharmaceutical order in Cameroon appealed to the government to fight against counterfeit medicine in the state especially in Yaoundé and Douala. Eric Sunjo, a member of the national pharmaceutical order in Cameroon, added that some of these counterfeit medicine was exposed to solar rays and therefore toxic for human consumption. Since then very little has been done to combat the sales of counterfeit medicine in the streets of Cameroon. Many Cameroonians die because of such medicines.

The problem of counterfeit medicine is not only peculiar to Cameroon. Counterfeit medicine is sold in the poor neighbourhoods of Cape Town in South Africa, in the streets of Ghana, in townships in Rwanda right up to ghettos in Cairo, Egypt. According to The Guardian, precise data is difficult to track down because of the informal nature of African health systems. But many recent studies warn that as many as one-third of malaria drugs in Tanzania and Uganda are fake or below average, with most believed to originate from Asia especially India. There has been great reluctance to call the scourge of killer medications in Africa a crisis.

The vice president of the US Pharmacopeial Convention’s global health impact programmes, Patrick Lukulay, alludes that it is no secret that the majority of fake medications came from India and China. According to Lukulay, China is not doing much to better this precarious situation. On the other hand, India is trying to ensure that the quality of medicine sent Africa is of commendable quality.

Though it may seem like an enormous amount of trouble to counterfeit a £3 packet of malaria pills, Lukulay adds that the global trade is estimated at £46bn a year. Counterfeiters master their markets properly. Efforts to combat the fake medication in Africa remain timid.

This indeed is a great calamity which adds to the death rates in Africa. Attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 especially in Africa, remains far-fetched if serious measures are not taken. Central governments in Africa remain reticent in combatting this ill. Instead of ensuring that fake medications do not inundate African markets, central governments allow the influx of counterfeit medicine while discouraging local markets.

Fighting fake medications is not an issue only of central governments. “If you want to be efficient in fighting it, you have to have a very strong regulatory authority, very strong collaborations, very good distribution networks and good co-operation between governments,” opines Sabine Kopp, who manages the anti-counterfeiting and medicines quality assurance programmes at the World Health Organisation. All the same this should not be an excuse for central governments in Africa to clamp down on viable manufactures with robust regulatory powers, because over regulation kills the purpose of regulation and thus free markets.

African states have the potential of encouraging the domestic private sector to manufacture good medication. Of course, this must be done under the scrutiny of quality control mechanisms. Encouraging local producers in no way shelves out competition from foreign competitors. All the same foreign competitors must ensure that they furnish proper medication to Africans and not counterfeit medicine which has contributed enormously to the loss of life of many Africans.

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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Africa Development, Uncategorized

 

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Kosmos Cameroon: Oil exploration in a national park? | Pipe(line)Dreams


See on Scoop.itoil concessions in Africa

Kosmos Energy’s activity in a conservation area is not unique. A new report issued by the WWF, the Center for the Environment and Development and RELUFA (Reseau de lutte contre la faim au Cameroun), Emerging Trends in Land-use Conflicts in Cameroon, reveals that “a total of at least 33 oil and mining permits have been granted inside of 16 different protected areas in Cameroon.”

Chofor Che‘s insight:

How do we strike a balance between economic prosperity and environmental conservation?

See on www.pipelinedreams.org

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Oil companies gave cash and contracts to militants and warlords in Nigeria – August 26, 2012 | Platform London – Arts. Activism. Education. Research.


See on Scoop.itoil concessions in Africa

Shell and Chevron have funded armed militant groups in the volatile Niger Delta region of Nigeria since at least 2003, according to oil-industry sources an…

Chofor Che‘s insight:

The tragedy behind oil in Africa. What a shame.

See on platformlondon.org

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Ghana’s oil worries | Pipe(line)Dreams


See on Scoop.itoil concessions in Africa

“some of the back and forth between Ghanaian think tank, IMANI, and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). IMANI has recently published some interesting articles on the Jubilee field’s underperformance. In contrast to the excited tone of most of the business news about the country’s oil industry, the IMANI articles raise serious questions about the industry’s costs and prospects.”

See on www.pipelinedreams.org

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

farmlandgrab.org | African pension funds: The missing link to African development?


See on Scoop.itAfrica’s development

Africa is regarded as the New Eldorado, and is attracting many foreign based private or public investment companies, sovereign wealth funds and even pension funds gradually.

See on farmlandgrab.org

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Poor Numbers: how we are misled by African development statistics


See on Scoop.itAfrica’s development

On November 5, 2010, Ghana Statistical Services announced that it was revising its GDP estimates upwards by over 60 percent, suggesting that that in the……

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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

How the African diaspora is using social media to influence development


See on Scoop.itAfrica’s development

TMS Ruge: So long as our collective voice and our money continue to engage the continent, our political influence won’t be far behind

See on www.guardian.co.uk

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 
 
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