Adulteration is an umbrella term that includes corruption in any stream perceivable to the human eye and adulteration in FMCG is most commonly witnessed in every country. But new WHO reports state that, 1 in 10 medical products available for use in low- and middle-income countries is substandard or falsified. We take medicines for cure, but when this medication becomes the cause of death there is no great harm that can be done beyond this. Such medications are a waste of both, money and health.
Substandard and falsified medications affect the most vulnerable section of the society, young children and the elderly population. For instance, when a mother of a small infant sacrifices her bread and butter for purchasing medicines for the child and when such medications (substandard and falsified) prove fatal to the child, this is unjustifiable, unethical and inhuman.
Of the 1500 of such substantial and falsified cases received by WHO, most commonly reported ones are antimalarial and antibiotic-related issues. The statistics might not seem too frightening, but there might be many unreported cases existing. Antibiotics are critical to the well-being of patients and when these are substandard or falsified, they not only impact the health of the patient and his/her immediate family but also become a serious threat to antimicrobial resistance. Already, infection-causing virus and bacteria are giving a tough time in curing diseases compared to previous decades and such resistance can add to the already-existing trends of medications losing power against such infection-causes agents in treating patients.
The beauty here is that such falsified and substandard medication exist for medicines prescribed right from cancer treatment to contraception, applicable for both branded medicines and local ones and are split generously between generic and patented products.
WHO projects that almost 10.5% failure rate exists in medical products used in low- and middle-income countries. Based on this data, a sample estimate done by a research team projects that almost 75,000-1,50,000 children might die from pneumonia every year due to substandard and falsified antibiotics. Pneumonia in children is deadly and must be treated immediately. For effective options to treat/prevent this disease, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
If we analyze the reasons for such widespread distribution of substandard and falsified medication, we realize that it might be due to:
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.