Ilorin – Prof. Tanimola Akande of Epidemiological and Community Health departmrnte of the University of Ilorin, on Friday alerted the Federal Government on the prevalence of imported fake drugs in Nigerian markets.
Akande, who made the alert in his 142nd Inaugural Lecture entitled: “Population with Ill-Health Burden; Faced with a Sick Health System”, claimed that over 70 per cent of the drugs came from Asian countries.
“Nigeria is Africa’s largest drug market and over 70 per cent of its drugs are imported from India and China, considered the biggest source of fakes,” he warned.
The expert who teaches at the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences of the university, also lamented that for decades, Nigeria was plagued by counterfeit and poor-quality medicines.
“Thousands of deaths have resulted from fake drugs as well as increasing the burden of diseases in the country,” he said.
Akande, however, praised the continued efforts of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) at trying to eradicate counterfeit drugs from Nigerian markets.
He said that the country was rated 187th out of 190 countries in health indices, saying “these indices are sad reflections of the sick health system in our nation”.
He recommended regular monitoring and evaluation of quality of health care in health facilities to be institutionalised and the use of “health watch dogs”.
The don also called for a strong political commitment on the part of the government to improve health care through passing of the health bill and signing it into law without further delay. (NAN)