A report points the finger at China as a suspected source of fake and substandard drugs that are making it difficult to cure malaria in various African countries.
In cities and villages across Tanzania and Uganda, the countries with the highest number of malaria cases in the world, everyone knows about counterfeit drugs.
AdvertisementAccording to the Guardian, the overwhelming suspicion is that they, like poor quality mobile phones and cheap clothing, come from China.
The paper pointed out that China's multibillion-dollar economic foray into Africa has rapidly turned into a double-edged sword, the boon in terms of growth offset by negative perceptions of its motives and actions.
According to Laurie Garett, senior fellow for global health at the US Council on Foreign Relations, if reports from African regulators are accurate, Chinese companies are responsible for the most egregious medicines frauds and misformulations seen on the continent.
She further said that there has been no head count, or a body count, on numbers of Africans that have died as a result, but China's role certainly has been dreadful.
According to the paper, estimates vary, but some recent studies suggested that as many as a third of malaria drugs in the two countries are fake or substandard, and most are believed to have originated in China.