Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Medicines for Africa

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Medicines for Africa

Article excerpt

Officials from the European Union (EU) Commission, the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and WHO met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in June with other partners to review the results of a programme to improve the quality and safety of medicines and make them more widely available.

The US$ 10 million Renewed Partnership programme that was launched in 2012 has been funded by the EU with the technical support of WHO.

Many people in the African region struggle to get the medicines they need. Many of the medicines that are available are counterfeit or substandard products, due to weak regulatory control, while standard medicines are expensive and unaffordable.

Moreover, few Africans are covered by social protection schemes and most people in the region must pay for medicines themselves, which can contribute to impoverishment.

The goal of universal access to medicines for HIV has not been achieved and generic medicines for other conditions are available in only about 57% of health facilities across the region.

The new programme has addressed many of these challenges. "The availability of quality medicines in health facilities is improving," says Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. …

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