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Kenya Determined To Fight Fake Drugs Menace

Inversk Review



Doctors have raised concerns over substandard drugs in the market that are taking the lives of people all over the globe.

A paper published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene says that doctors arranged for combined effort to fight a pandemic of bad drugs that ends the lives of 250,000 children a year. This is after they have taken shoddy medication intended to treat malaria and pneumonia.

Tests have been carried out and have brought to light that indeed there are fake drugs in the market including those meant for diseases like malaria, cardiovascular and cancer in addition to other antibiotics. This is according to a paper that was published on Monday. It also revealed that many fakes have been found to contain everything from printer ink and paint to arsenic material.

Despite this very disturbing findings, Pharmacy Board CEO Fred Siyoi says that antibiotics in Kenya occasionally fail tests not because they are faulty but because of poor storage. “If antibiotics are not stored well, they go bad. All our antimalarials usually pass the quality test,” Dr Siyoi said.

The board’s post-marketing surveillance, which is done after every three months, has never unveiled fake cancer drugs, he said. Dr Siyoi said that 80 per cent of drugs in the Kenyan market are imported from India and China. “Whenever there is a shortage of drugs in the country, people take advantage to fill the gap, which can be harmful to the lives of Kenyans, but with the strategies we have come up with, the gaps are closed,” he said. “We have deployed various technologies such as the spectrometer (the portable device that scans medicines for active ingredients). If there is no active ingredient, we seize, quarantine or destroy the drugs and issue an alert.”

Falsified and substandard medicines lead to poisoning, untreated and resistant diseases, treatment failure and early death.

The board has developed a mobile-based innovation that identifies whether or not a drug is genuine. This has created a unique code to help identify the quality of medicines, be they imported or locally made, and track their movement across the country. The health safety code will be available for Kenyans at chemists, clinics and other health facilities.

“Patients will be able to tell if it is genuine paracetamol, its side-effects, the pharmacy that dispensed it, and whether it is registered using the unique identifier number and code,” he said.

Dr Siyoi said that the board had instituted measures to deal with an influx of fake drugs, including GPS mapping of registered pharmacies, incorporating new technologies such as online licensing and reporting, having drug inspectors at ports of entry and carrying out product registration and evaluation to check all drugs entering the market.

This is on top of regular checks on manufacturing sites, and working with the Anti-Counterfeits Agency, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Interpol and the World Health Organisation.

However, a study that the Kenya Medical Research Institute read at the 9th Annual Scientific and Health Conference last month noted that there is substandard amoxicillin in the market.

The study sampled 24 brands of the drug — an oral suspension antibiotic — 11 of which failed the quality test. And yet the drug is prescribed in almost all health facilities for bacterial infections.

Dr Lucia Keter, the co-principal investigator in the study, said that all the brands that failed to meet standards were imported from India, while the locally manufactured ones passed the test.

The study, done to determine the quality of amoxicillin in selected private retail pharmacies within Nairobi Country, selected many brands and only subjected 24 to analysis.

“Overall, 46 per cent were of poor quality,” Dr Keter said.

“Our findings highlight the need for regular post-market surveillance to inform on the situation of antibiotic quality in the Kenyan market,” the study suggests.

Doctors have since called for the WHO drug surveillance programme and an update to the UN’s sustainable development goals in which governments would ensure that at least 90 per cent of medicines in their countries are of high quality.

Fake drugs are a major driver of disease resistance, which fuels the rise of superbugs.

“This is an urgent public health issue and we need to take action,” the study published in the American Journal says.

Up to 10 per cent of drugs in low and middle income countries are of poor quality or outright fakes. Poor-quality drugs cost economies up to $200 billion (Sh20 trillion) a year and contribute to the increasing peril of disease resistance.

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Sh1,000 Notes Abroad to be Exchanged in the Country, CBK Says

News Team



Patrick Njoroge, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor, has urged those with the old Sh1,000 notes that are out of the country to exchange them in Kenya before the October 1st deadline elapses.

The Governor dismissed permitting conversion of the old currency outside the country, adding that the CBK had alerted all foreign banks to cease recognition of the old notes.

He further said that banks outside the country will not be receiving any new notes to aid in conversion, contending that this would defeat the process of demonetization.

“If you have the Kenyan currency and you happen to be outside the country, there is only one way to get value for it before October 1. You have to take a trip here and go through the procedures outlined in the Gazette notice and subsequent releases,” said Dr. Njoroge when speaking at a press briefing yesterday.

“You cannot convert it to any other currency out there since this would defeat the process of demonetization.”

Earlier this month, notices were issued from the Bank of Tanzania and the Bank of Uganda discontinuing the conversion of the old currency in their banks. In addition, they have directed their countries’ banks to apply more stringent due diligence processes to all currency flows.

The procedures to be followed for currency conversion by locals will also be followed by those coming into the country.

Dr. Njoroge has warned that measures have been put in place to thwart any efforts to clean illicit money in nations involved in significant financial transactions with Kenya.

After the East African Community allowed free movement of goods and people across member states, the Kenyan shilling is frequently used in business transactions in neighbouring countries.

The result is that this money comes back home through those trade routes and official currency repatriation mechanisms between central banks of countries in the Community.

He also said that the deadline will not be extended, arguing that an extension would create a loophole for those seeking to clean their dirty money to do so.

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Safaricom and Equity in Deal to Offer Loans to Contractors

News Team



Safaricom contractors that may find themselves short on cash will now be able to access as much as Sh200 million in unsecured short-term loans following a deal between the telco and Equity Bank. This will help the contractors to maintain cash flow positions before receiving payment for their services.

The firm wrote a letter addressed to its business partners in which it said that the aim of the deal is the creation of a more procurement-ready business. The main beneficiaries will be Safaricom dealers, suppliers, and agents.

In the fiscal year ended March 2019, Safaricom had 440 dealers, 156,000 M-Pesa agents, and 1,164 suppliers.

“We are pleased to inform you of our partnership with Equity Bank which will offer our partners financing solutions linked to purchase orders and invoices,” said Francis Murabula, Safaricom’s head of supply chain management, in the letter.

He is asking the dealers, suppliers, and agents for consent to share their information including contact details, invoice and purchase order information to enable loan processing for potential firms.

Contractors will be able to borrow from Equity before or after they fulfill their contractual obligations with Safaricom.

The terms and amount of the loan applied for will depend on each company’s credit rating.

Therefore, for a contractor to qualify for an unsecured loan of up to Sh200 million, they have to be using unpaid accounts for goods and services that have already been provided to Safaricom as their collateral.

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Reuben Kimani Wins The Africa Business Personality Award 2019

News Team



Reuben Kimani, Username Investment Limited CEO is set to be awarded the 2019 African Business Personality Award at the Voice Achievers Award.

Kimani will be awarded at an Award Gala slated on 16th August 2019 at Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi.

The prestigious award is organised by the Netherlands based Dutch Magazine and is now celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Through the award, the magazine seeks to recognize outstanding men and women who have made substantial contributions towards the advancement of Africa and its people.

The award acknowledges Africans and friends of Africa, who in pursuit of their businesses and services to humanity have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavour across Africa.

Other renowned awardees for the award include; Her Excellency, Mrs. Isaura Nyusi, First Lady of the Republic of Mozambique, Dr. Kizza Besigye, Prof. PLO Lumumba, Hon Ababu-Terrah Namwamba, Hon Esther Passaris, Lady Justice Joyce Aluoch (rtd), Arch Bishop Arthur Kitonga, Dr. Kennedy Waningu, Hon. Patriciah Mutheu Musyimi, Raphael Obonyo among others. The names of the awardees have been published on the Magazine’s website.

While confirming Reuben’s nomination, the Voice African News Magazine noted that; “It was a unanimous choice because of Reuben’s un-paralleled contribution as a businessman of repute, manager of people and giver to worthy causes within Kenya where he has positively impacted the lives of citizenry through creating employment during this scare period of jobs in the country.”

“Your professionalism has rubbed off on your trainees and brought respect and dignity to your profession. Your hard work, integrity, focus and a desire to be the best are the values that drive you and what you do. No surprise your works are recognized within the shores of Kenya and beyond; as CEO, Username Investment Ltd., a leading real estate and investment company in Kenya with a mission of providing the current and upcoming generation with a place they can call home. It is a laudable accomplishment”, read a letter sent to the former.

As the co-founder and CEO of Username Investments, Reuben has led the Company to make a contribution in making properties deliberately affordable with prices ranging between Ksh 199,000 to Ksh 500,000. This has made great contribution in the Affordable Housing Agenda, one of the 4 key pillars of the government development agenda.

Through his leadership, the Company has accomplished over 36 projects, issued over 6,000 title deeds to clients living both in Kenya and the diaspora. Username Investments has also grown from 4 employees to over 50 directly employed and 500 indirectly employed in three offices. Reuben is also a thought leader in the real estate industry where he provides insights by being a panelist in various mainstream media channels and also through his YouTube; Real Estate in Kenya with Reuben Kimani.

His efforts have seen the Company bag accolades across the industry for outstanding performance, as an individual he has bagged 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Business Executive Champion Award, Entrepreneur of the Year by Kenya Professional Realtors Association (KPRA) and JKUAT Alumni Achievement Award for his achievements post-graduation.

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