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40pc of malaria drugs in Kenya counterfeits

Health & Science

KISUMU: Approximately, 40 per cent of malaria drugs sold in Kenya are counterfeits, a special working group of the National Council on the Administration of Justice has revealed.

The special working group Chairman Abdulqadir Lorot said malaria counterfeits are more compared to other drugs because it is the number one killer disease in the country.

“People are selling chalk instead of drugs. The fake medicines have led to several deaths,” he said.

Lorot said 30 per cent of pharmaceutical drugs in the country are also counterfeits.

“Illicit trade has been treated in the past as victimless crimes and dismissed as petty offences. That is why we have brought together the Judiciary, Office of Director of Public Prosecutions, National Police Service and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations. We have come up with a manual to combat illicit trade,” he said.

He said the manual will help law enforcers to handle cases of illicit trade and save revenue. It is estimated Kenya loses between Sh2 trillion to Sh5 trillion annually in illegal trade, usually done through smuggling of excisable goods, intellectual property infringements, trading with illegal weights and measures among others.

“Perpetrators of this vice continue to freely enrich themselves, exposing innocent and ignorant consumers to severe health and safety hazards. If we get rid of them, the country will be able to finance the health sector for about 10 to 15 years,” Lorot said.

He said substandard liquid petroleum gas is also finding its way into the market; adding Kenyans should raise alarm whenever they have information. “We have increasing cases of cooking gas explosions because some people even assemble the product in their houses,” he said.

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