Congolese authorities to crackdown on trade of counterfeit medicine

Sep 14, 2015 The Democratic Republic of Congo recently announced plans to introduce an awareness campaign in a bid to reinforce public and private efforts against fake drugs.

According to a World Health Organization estimate, 10 percent of prescription drugs available in pharmacies and hospitals around the world are fake, however in Africa those figure lie between 30 and 50 percent.

On the backdrop of this, the Congolese authorities have set out to crackdown on this social menace.

“South Kivu faces many challenges, because the province shares a long border with neighbouring countries, which means that regulators and medical control service staff such as I have difficulty to control the transport of counterfeit drugs through the border, because like I said the border is long and porous. The fake medication that we often find here often comes from neighbouring countries, and they are then sold throughout the province,” said Patrick Cizungu, South Kivu health inspector.

A recent study by global health scientists showed that low-quality and fake anti-malarial drugs flooding markets in Asia and Africa are driving resistance and threatening gains made against the disease in the last decade.

Frank Irenge , a resident of Bukavu commented on the menace saying:

“Sometimes when we buy medication, instead of healing our children, it makes them weaker and causes their symptoms to worsen. When you go to the doctor and he asks you where you bought the medication, that’s when you find out that the medication you bought in certain pharmacies is the reason people get even more sick,”

According to the UN office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), most of the substandard drug in Africa come from India and China while some are made locally. The Congolese authorities have expressed confidence that the regulatory body being put in place will effectively monitor imported drug as well as those produced in the country.

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