Call for participation to build a Quality Control Laboratory in Cameroon
AIDSfreeAFRICA is looking for donations of new or gently used but fully functioning laboratory equipment such as an HPLC, a FT-IR, analytical balance, Eppendorf pipettes, Ph-meters, GC-MS, and other laboratory supplies. We are also looking for volunteers who would take on the task of contacting manufacturers of such equipment and entice companies to help with a humanitarian effort that will prevent unnecessary suffering and premature death due to ineffective drugs.
Much has been published about counterfeit drugs in developing countries. In Cameroon, counterfeit drugs seem less of a problem since profit margins for pharmaceuticals is low. Poor quality of drugs is more often caused by improper handling, such as exposure to extreme conditions that exceed the specified requirements listed on the package. These conditions, such as high temperature and humidity, are associated with the rapid degradation of the active pharmaceutical ingredient, API. Once the drugs have been exposed to this kind of environment, they’re comparable to counterfeit. Whether degraded or counterfeit, these drugs aren’t going to make a difference to improve the well being of patients.
AIDSfreeAFRICA has been working in Cameroon for the past 11 years. Recently, we have proposed to help with the task of analyzing a cross section of the existing drugs that are available in the country’s pharmacies, hospitals, black market, and roadside shacks. It is difficult for the Cameroonian government to keep track and to know the exact conditions of the drugs, so they make assumptions based off of their origin. Just because a drug is from a trusted source doesn’t mean that it will be viable by the time it reaches the patient. In Cameroon, each source of drugs serves a purpose and provides people of different economic backgrounds with the access to treatment. The question to be answered is: are the drugs a patient buys of high quality by the time they purchase them?
If the government can analyze the quality of medicine being distributed throughout the country, then it could make rational decisions on where and how to implement regulations, offer training, and eventually develop a comprehensive quality control plan.
Until this happens, AIDSfreeAFRICA wants to step in and provide a Quality Control Laboratory that could analyze those drugs.
Help us in our effort to assure the quality of drugs in Cameroon by donating or volunteering.
Please contact Dr. Rolande Hodel at RRHodel@aol.com.