Malaria: How Counterfeit Medication is Taking Lives

counterfeit malaria medication

Malaria appears to be one of the most prevalent diseases across the globe with over 3.2 billion people across 95 countries being at risk.

The poor are the most susceptible to this disease, and it appears to be more devastating with the younger demography; This disease is quite common in the tropic regions of Africa, South America and Asia where the correspondent parasite, the female anopheles mosquito thrives.

The rate of malaria infection between years 2000 and 2015 have however seen significant global drop (by as much as 60 percent), especially in Africa and South America.

From year 2016 however, it appeared that there had been some upward trajectory in the rate of malaria infection, which appears to be eroding the gains made over the previous years. As much as 216 million new cases where reported in 2016 alone.

Some of the most affected countries in this newly resurging malaria cases are Nigeria, DR Congo, Uganda, Ivory Coast and Mozambique – and the majority of malaria-related deaths occur in children under the age of 5.

Some of the most affected countries in this newly resurging malaria cases are Nigeria, DR Congo, Uganda, Ivory Coast and Mozambique – and the majority of malaria-related deaths occur in children under the age of 5.

The high rate of malaria death is unwarranted considering that it is one of the most easily cured diseases with either doses of tablets or a few shots of injection; why then is there a high mortality rate?

The Problem of Counterfeit Malaria Medication

A recent research shows that the continued virulence of malaria in the developing world is not because it is difficult to cure, but it is caused by the proliferation of counterfeit malaria medication; the research discovered that majority of drugs sold were either sub-standard or outright fakes.

It is estimated that over 200,000 lives are lost annually to fake malaria medication, while substandard malaria medication could be responsible for as much as 116,000 malaria related deaths.

According to the Malaria Journal, there was a 90% increase in the amount of counterfeit malaria drugs between 2005 and 2010, and the rate has been around this figure to date.

The counterfeit pharmaceutical industry is motivated by how profitable the vice is, as such it appears that it is an industry which would be working perpetually hard to stay in existence. It is therefore imperative that the “forces for good” and genuine industry players become more proactive in the fight against fake medication.

Reports show that a good number of counterfeit drugs emanate from India, China, Hong Kong and Turkey, and the sale of these products appear to thrive in developing countries because the authorities and consumers do not have an easy way to detect the fakes.

The Cost of Counterfeit Malaria Medication

It is estimated that 350,000 lives are lost annually to fake and substandard malaria drugs – the impact this has on loved ones left behind is telling and this pain could have been prevented only if there was a way to figure out what was proper medication and what was fake.

Aside the loss of lives, there is also the loss of monies that many in the developing world do not have to spare. The vast majority of patients who pay for these fake malaria drugs pay out of pocket, without any form of medical insurance, and those who are lucky enough not to lose their lives go on to pay for additional treatment when the first medication fails.

The World Health Organization (W.H.O) estimates that repeated treatments as a result of fake or ineffective medication costs as much as $38.5 million in Sub-Saharan Africa alone.

It Costs Just a Fraction to Stop Counterfeit Malaria Medication

Despite what appears to be a debilitating situation with regards to fake malaria medication, there are solutions out there which practically cost less than a fraction of the monetary losses caused by these counterfeiters – of course, the value of human life cannot be weighted in monetary value, and the good thing is that anti-counterfeit solutions providers primarily aim to save lives.

use your smartphone with cypheme

Anti-counterfeit technologies like Cypheme are affordable solutions that help consumers differentiate fake malaria medication from the real ones – all a buyer has to do is to just snap a picture of a Cypheme label on a medicine pack with their smartphone and they would be able to tell in as little as 5 seconds whether or not the medication they are about to purchase is genuine.

Each Cypheme label is specially manufactured to have unique fingerprint-like imprints that cannot be copied or duplicated, and even when duplicated, the robust artificial intelligence technology backing the solution renders the copied version null and void. Malaria-related deaths can be totally eliminated provided that stakeholders are willing to take the proactive step of using relevant technology to fight the counterfeiters.

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