UN report warns of fake medicine trafficking in Sahel

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A report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), released on Tuesday, on the trafficking of medical products, revealed that 50% of medicines in Sahelian countries are substandard or falsified.

In this report, the focus was on five poor countries facing multifaceted violence such as jihadist attacks. These are Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, and Mauritania.

These medicines are taken out of the supply chain from Europe and often pass through the seaports of Guinea, Ghana, Benin, and Nigeria before being transported to the Sahel.

Among the causes of the use of these fake medicines in the Sahel is the high prevalence of infectious diseases in the Sahel. However, the formal channel is not sufficient to meet the high demand for medical products and services.

The report added that those involved in this traffic go through employees of pharmaceutical companies, street vendors, or even security agents.

In this sense, the head of UNODC’s research and advocacy unit said that once the legitimate product is diverted from the supply chain, there will be no follow-up and control on how it is to be used.

Jihan Rmili

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