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LUKMEF Launches Campaign Against Counterfeit Medications In Awing 

By Francis Tim Mbom
— Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation, LUKMEF kick started a campaign in Awing, Santa Sub Division, on June 5, aimed at discouraging the inhabitants from consuming counterfeit medicines.

Awings gather against counterfeit medicines

The CEO of the Limbe based NGO, Christian Tanyi, said heavy reliance on counterfeit medications was becoming a big health problem because such drugs have proven to be dangerous. Tanyi added that the problem with counterfeit drugs is that they most often may not contain all the APIs in them or active pharmaceutical ingredients that are needed to act in a patient’s body to effectively fight against a disease.

In a documentary projected during the campaign, participants were told that counterfeit drugs help certain diseases to developing resistance to treatment while others even lead to death. The participants gave several testimonies of how they, at one point, used medications bought from the streets.

One of the participants, a retired Gendarmerie officer, Afopezi Asofah, said counterfeit drugs needed to be condemned. He said, in Awing, they bury up to ten corpses in a day; a thing he partly attributed to the consumption of fake medications. The District Medical Officer for Santa Sub Division, Dr. Charles Teboh, urged the population to go and consult in hospital when they are sick. He said Government has put in place three health units in Awing to cater for the health of the people.

The Fon of Awing, HRH Fon Fozo’o II thanked LUKMEF for its efforts at improving on the people’s health. But the Fon said there was need for more health centres in Awing. “One of the problems we have here is that the three available health services were just too far away from the reach of many villagers, reason why many, when sick, will prefer the easy way out,” he said.

Besides the above problem, some said fake medications do not only exit by road sides but even in some Government run health centres. They said some nurses buy and sell their own drugs to patients at higher prices.

Besides combating the use of fake drugs, the LUKMEF CEO said his campaign was equally out to address the problem of poverty. He said he was consulting with the Fon and some of the people to see how a Food Cooperative Society can be established in Awing. He said even though the Awing people were industrious, they were benefiting very little from their toil.

 “We need to form a village cooperation where the sale of your produce will be regulated so that you can earn more money. In this way you will be able to have enough money to buy quality drugs from pharmacies and get the right treatment when you are sick,” he said.

The LUKMEF campaign is being sponsored by the US Embassy with the moral support of the Ndong Awing Cultural and Development Association, NACDA.

First published in The Post print edition no. 01350

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