World Health Organisation estimates indicate that around 116,000 deaths in Sub Saharan Africa occur due to consumption of substandard drugs. Emergency contraceptive pills and antimalarial drugs are among the most common type of substandard medicines
President Yoweri Museveni has said Uganda is committed in the
collective efforts to fight trafficking of substandard medical products.
Museveni made the commitment on Saturday at the on-going LOME Initiative in
Togo where African leaders from the Republic of the Congo, Niger, Senegal,
Togo and Uganda are meeting to sign the Lomé Initiative, a binding
agreement to criminalize the trafficking of falsified medicines.
"I am pleased to be here to confirm Uganda’s commitment to the
collaborative process on the elimination of the global health challenge of
trafficking of substandard, falsified medicines and other medical products,"
said Museveni in part of his statement
The initiative spearheaded by Brazzaville Foundation, an independent, not
for profit organisation proposes initiatives to promote sustainable
development, conflict prevention and facilitate peaceful cooperation on the
Museveni says challenges including the trafficking of counterfeit, substandard
and falsified medicines and health products has affected development and called
upon every country to join in the fight.
"This is a crime against humanity and a huge risk for countries all over
the world. Every country must work individually and collectively to
eliminate it as soon as possible" said Museveni
World Health Organisation-WHO estimates indicate that around 116,000 deaths in
Sub Saharan Africa occur due to consumption of substandard drugs. Emergency
contraceptive pills and antimalarial drugs are among the most common type of
It is also estimated that 128 countries worldwide are affected by falsified
medicines and 42% of all falsified medicines discovered since 2013 were in
Africa. WHO also estimates that falsified medicines account for 20-30% of
all medical products in low- and middle-income African countries.
In June 2019, the National Drug Authority revealed that 10 per cent of the drug
regimens in the country have substandard or counterfeit copies of them sold on
the market. These according to the Authority are brought into the country by
smugglers mostly from Kenya and DR Congo through porous borders.
Jean-Yves Ollivier, President of the Brazzaville Foundation says the
proliferation of fake medicines is a public health crisis that shouldn't be
"People all over the world are dying every day because this scourge has
not been given the priority it deserves. The traffic in falsified medicines
also generates huge profits for criminals and terrorists, destabilising some of
the most fragile countries," he adds in a statement
President Museveni suggests that to cub the vice leaders need to formulate strict
laws, share information and work together. He also called for investment in
research and development of health-related technologies and promote
innovation of new products, where possible. He called for support to
scientists to build capacity for production of quality and standard
"In so doing, we will safeguard the population, create jobs for the youth
and improve our economies and also lower the cost of the medicines because
African labour is cheaper," he said
At the Summit the countries will sign a Political Declaration and a legally
binding Framework Agreement. This agreement will commit them to introduce
legislation which criminalises the trafficking of fake medicines.
According to Brazzaville Foundation, this is the first phase of a wider
programme to ensure access to safe and effective medicines for citizens in