Ayawo Hievi believed he would be better if he took the prescribed dose of drugs by his doctor following his encounter with typhoid and malaria. However, instead of making him better, the drugs given to him by a clinic situated in his neighborhood, made him increasingly worse. So much so, that he ended up losing one of his kidneys.
It was no surprise, then, that the medication was counterfeit.
52-year-old Hievi stated, when speaking to AFP, how he witnessed no improvements following 4 days of care. He did, however, stated experiencing pain in his stomach.
After 2 weeks of this pain, he was rendered unable to walk and was taken into Lome’s university hospital.
He stated that the doctors told him how his kidneys had been damaged following intake the quinine and the antibiotics which were forged.
Now, almost 44 years later, he has a chronic kidney failure and has to get dialysis regularly.
This horrifying story is not, sadly, unique, following the increase in fake drugs throughout the continent.
According to the WHO, it is approximated that nearly 100,000 individuals from throughout Africa meet their demise following the intake of counterfeit or substandard drugs.
According to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in 2015, it was approximated that 122,000 children under the age of 5 met their demise with the intake of bad quality anti-malaria medications in sub-Saharan Africa.
This lethal market has seen an increase in growth due to feeble legislation, poor healthcare systems, and prevalent poverty. Africa alone has made up 42% of the counterfeit drugs seized around the globe, since 2013.
According to experts, antibiotics and antimalarials are most likely to be expired or counterfeit.
Fake medications are not only threatening to the patient, they also build resistance to chief frontline medications.