Reports that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine may be effective against COVID-19 have received worldwide attention, increasing the risk of the introduction of falsified versions of these medicines. Five different types of falsified chloroquine tablets were discovered between March 31, 2020 and April 4, 2020, in Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo by locally conducted thin layer chromatographic analysis. Subsequent investigation by liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry in Germany proved the absence of detectable amounts of chloroquine and the presence of undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients, that is, paracetamol and metronidazole, in four of the samples. The fifth sample contained chloroquine, but only 22% of the declared amount. Such products represent a serious risk to patients. Their occurrence exemplifies that once medicines or vaccines against COVID-19 may be developed, falsified products will enter the market immediately, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Timely preparations for the detection of such products are required, including the establishment of appropriate screening technologies in LMICs.
The new coronavirus has exposed the staggeringly uneven distribution of life-saving medical equipment across the world. Ventilators are an essential tool in the treatment of respiratory illnesses, including severe cases of Covid-19, yet across 41 African countries there are fewer than 2,000 apparatus serving hundreds of millions of people.
When Joana Opoku-Darko’s daughter Anna was 18 months old, she came down with malaria, a disease common in Ghana and especially deadly for children.
African health officials have warned of a chronic shortage of the critical care equipment needed to fight coronavirus as the outbreak gathers pace on the continent.
Poor quality medicine is one of the obstacles to improving health in developing countries. One in 10 medicines may not meet acceptable standards, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
When my beloved Uncle Vincent developed liver cancer three years ago, it became a race against time to get the drugs he needed to stop the disease from spreading. After a long and desperate search we finally tracked them down — more than 4,000 miles away.
Poor access to health care has made several African countries attractive for falsified and substandard drugs. Seven countries have responded with a new initiative. Paul Adepoju reports.
Science can and does change humanity. Yet while we live in an age of extraordinary advances, profound health challenges remain. Global health emergencies such as rapidly rising drug-resistance, epidemic threats from diseases known and unknown, mental health, and the escalating climate crisis are a threat to us all.
A fridge designed for vaccines and medicines has “harnessed the power of nature” to keep its contents cold, even with intermittent access to electricity.
Substandard and falsified medications pose significant risks to global health. Nearly one in five antimalarials circulating in low- and middle-income countries are substandard or falsified. We assessed the health and economic impact of substandard and falsified antimalarials on children under five in Nigeria, where malaria is endemic and poor-quality medications are commonplace.