niamey DECLARATION: IRACM AND Tattali-Iyali FOUNDATION JOIN FORCES TO FIGHT AGAINST COUNTERFEIT MEDICINES IN AFRICA
On November 22 and 23, 2013, IRACM and the Tattali-Iyali foundation, chaired by Niger’s First Lady and President of the foundation, organized a conference in Niamey, Niger of 20 renowned experts and organizations such as Interpol, the World Customs Organization, the Chirac Foundation and UNAIDS, plus over 1,600 guests including senior representatives of Niger and other African countries.
This conference resulted in the signing of the Niamey Declaration by the First Ladies of Niger, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic and Mali. The conference paved the way for a number of guidelines and measures to be implemented over the coming years.
Niamey Declaration is the answer to the priority concern that is counterfeit medicine trafficking in Africa.
A joint initiative from International Institute of Research Against Counterfeit Medicines (IRACM), the Tattali-Iyali foundation and four First Ladies of sub-Saharan Africa testifies to the utmost commitment of these countries and their eagerness to work together to counter the growing threat of counterfeit medicines trafficking in Africa.
Through this conference, the groundwork was laid for an action plan involving IRACM, the Tattali-Iyali foundation and the countries present. A cooperation, education and prevention agreement was signed by the First Ladies of Niger, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic and Mali, for the fight against counterfeit medicines in Africa.
The Niamey Declaration is an unprecedented agreement and a first step in a vital process to stem the trade of illicit counterfeit medicines plaguing Africa and endangering the lives of millions of men, women and children.
On this occasion, IRACM and the Tattali-Iyali foundation invited several renowned international governmental organizations to participate as experts. The idea was first to call on governments to counter the spread of counterfeit medicines in this part of the world already suffering from a precarious healthcare situation due to lack of water and sanitation, and inadequate public information.
A joint action plan involving all these countries will encourage governments, the pharmaceutical industry, healthworkers, pharmaceutical distributors, and regional and international organizations to contribute to the fight against counterfeit medicines.
This initiative aims to educate African populations about the dangers of illicit medicines and rally stakeholders to take action. A synergy is now in place to achieve better health outcomes.
The Institute of Research Against Counterfeit Medicines (IRACM) and Tattali-Iyali foundation, chaired by Dr Lalla Malika Issoufou Mahamadou, First Lady of Niger, initiated and organized the conference and the signing of the Niamey Declaration.
In the presence of Niger’s Prime Minister, Brigi Rafini, and Niger’s Public Health Minister, Mano Aghali, the Niamey Declaration was signed on Saturday, November 23, 2013 by:
– Lalla Malika Mahamadou Issoufou, First Lady of Niger and President of the Tattali-Iyali foundation,
– Chantal Compaore, First Lady of Burkina Faso,
– Chantal Djotodia, First Lady of the Central African Republic,
– Aminata Maiga Keita, First Lady of Mali.
The First Lady of Equatorial Guinea was represented by Delegate Minister of the Department of Culture and Tourism, Guillermina Mekuy Mba Obono.
Africa, a prime target for organized pharmaceutical crime.
In Africa, the pharmaceuticals most frequently counterfeited are essential medicines like antibiotics, malaria drugs, antiparasitics, or particularly expensive treatments like antiretroviral drugs. In fact, unfortunately for patients, no drugs are spared. Regular seizures in Africa reveal the extent of pharmaceutical trafficking in the region and the dangers of their counterfeit ingredients on patients’ health.
The conference primarily served to get a better grasp of the issue as a whole. The problem is spreading, and is a direct threat to the region’s countries and populations. A threat to public health and a threat to public order, given the power that transnational criminal organizations are attempting to seize.
The meeting exposed the shortcomings of the anti-counterfeiting measures taken so far. A mutual desire has emerged to develop a genuinely regional approach involving the States represented by their First Ladies.