MANAGEMENT of National Agency for Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has expressed deep concern over the multiplicity of fake and adulterated malaria medicines in the country despite efforts by the agency to curtail the spread. Head of Reform Unit of NAFDAC, Barr. Ozo-Onyali Ikenna, who addressed journalists in Enugu Monday during a three-day sensitisation workshop for staff of the agency on anti-corruption, SERVICOM and gender issues; said that the agency has stepped up her enforcement activities to nip the menace on the bud. “You know for every method you bring in to checkmate importers of fake drugs, they tend to always monitor you and move on as you are moving as well. We know that we have a lot of fake malaria medicines within the system and that is the simpler reason why we have done this… you know we insisted that manufacturers of anti-malaria and antibiotic medicines should be able to put in what we call ‘scratch
and text system’, where you are expected to; when you buy your malaria medicine, you scratch and send the number to the code that will be on pack of the medicine to confirm the authenticity of the medicine before you buy. “It will either reply genuine or fake and if it is fake, then you are not expected to buy it and you are expected to report that complaint to the nearest NAFDAC office for enforcement agents to step in,” he said. Ikenna stated however that so many arrests and prosecution of importers and manufacturers of are on-going, noting that it will remain a regular process in order to stamp out the illicit business. Earlier in a remark, the Acting Director General of NAFDAC, Mrs. Yetunde Oni stated that the sensitisation workshop was packaged for staff of the agency drawn from all the states of the South East, the Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and Enforcement and Investigation Department of the Agency. “The first day will be the anti-corruption day; the second day, service delivery day; and the third day is gender day. The whole essence of this workshop is basically sensitisation of staff on anti-corruption ideals, effective and efficient service delivery, and mainstreaming gender within the system.” The Director General who was represented by the Director, Special Duties in the agency, Dr. Abubakar Jimoh stated that the resource persons were drawn from the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC, office as well as the Department of Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Department, CMED, of the agency. About 200 staff of the agency are expected to participate in the workshop, which Barr. Ozo-Onyali Ikenna said, would enable them work out all that they have learnt with a view to improving service within the system and ridding off any form of corrupt practice, if any within the system.

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