Kenyan Medical Services Minister Anyang Nyongo has said the country would be deploying intelligence services to crack down on fake medicine tarde.
A recent survey by Kenya's National Quality Control Laboratories and the Pharmacy and Poisons Board found that 30 percent of the drugs in Kenya are counterfeit. Some were no more than chalk or water.
AdvertisementNyongo told reporters his department would work with the National Security and Intelligence Services (NSIS) "to perfect the surveillance methods so as to decrease the probability of having more counterfeits in the market."
"Be warned that if you are out there trying to sell counterfeit drugs to Kenyans you will be caught very soon and answer for your sins," Nyongo said, adding that the authorities would deploy methods similar to those used to fight drug trafficking.
The minister said 16 percent of the malaria drugs in Kenya were fake, contrary to reports that indicated the percentage was as high as 38 percent.
Malaria kills 34,000 children under the age of five each year in Kenya, and threatens the lives of more than 25 million of its population of 35 million people, the ministry said.
It accounts for 20 percent of all hospital admissions and between 30 to 50 percent of outpatients in the country.
In April, the British pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline urged Nairobi to crack down on imports of fake medicines, warning that public health was at stake.