Low Quality Medicines Face Afghans With Serious Problems

Wednesday January 25, 2017

Kabul (BNA) In the past several years, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent to promote the health sector in the country. Hundreds of hospitals and clinics were either repaired or newly constructed in various parts of the country and their administrations were also promoted, but in association with the management and control of the medicines we have not had remarkable achievements; as the illegal supply of illegal and counterfeit medicines by individuals and companies is increasing which indicates the poor management of relevant organs. According to the officials in Ministry of Public Health, currently 40 to 55 percent of medicines are being smuggled, and as a result, poor quality and counterfeit medicines are entering the country. Thus smuggling medicines is assumed to be a major challenge for the Ministry of Public health and the businessmen who import medicines through legal means. There are several institutions monitoring the importation of medicines in the country, but lack of mechanism of coordination and cooperation between the government institutions such as Ministries of Interior, Finance and Health has resulted in smuggling of hundred thousand tons of medicines from neighboring countries.
Another pivotal factor is corruption in relevant administrations. From the moment that poor quality medicines enter Afghanistan till the completion of the control and custom processes and its supply to bazar there are the possibility of corruption everywhere. Dr. Mohammad Bashir Quraishi, head of doctors in Indira Gandhi Child Hospital told that lack of control in borders has caused the smugglers to import low-quality medicines into Afghanistan and we confirm this. He added that our hospital has many problems in regard with high number of visitors, lack of professional doctors, budget and medical equipment. In the past, he asserted that with the World Bank assistance, we accessed high-quality medicines and next year, the ministry of public health have taken this responsibility. At the same time, a number of Kabul residents are complaining on selling poor-quality medicines, adding when they take such medicines, they don’t feel any positive affect in their bodies. Mir Jan, a Kabul citizen said, ‘unfortunately, lack of borders’ control, existence of corruption and lack of standard labs have paved the way for importing low-quality medicines. Thus, the government is responsible to step up in this regard or it will create further crisis.’ 
Karima Malikzada

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