Nasarawa Govt, UNICEF join forces to combat fake drugs

The Nasarawa State Government, in a bid to address the menace of counterfeit drugs in the state, has forged a partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to combat the proliferation of fake medications in primary and tertiary medical facilities across the state.

The collaboration was announced by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Gaza Gwamna, during an inspection visit to the Nasarawa State Drugs and Supplies Management Agency (NASDSMA) in Lafia, the state capital, on Tuesday.

Gwamna revealed that the ongoing upgrade of facilities, including warehouses at NASDSMA, aims to ensure the effective management and distribution of drugs in accordance with international standards.

He expressed satisfaction with the quality of work and materials used in the project, describing it as the best in the North-Central Geo-Political Zone.

The commissioner further stated the importance of the agency in addressing the challenges of drug availability and affordability in public health facilities across the state.

He commended UNICEF for its significant contribution to the project, stating that it demonstrates the organization’s commitment to improving healthcare in Nasarawa State.

“I want to commend UNICEF for contributing 85 per cent of the total sum of the project. This is a clear indication that they love the people of Nasarawa State, and as a people, we are grateful to them for their support.

“And I can state clearly that with this huge investment in the infrastructure, and the ability to purchase drugs directly from the manufacturers, the era of supply of substandard and non-availability of drugs in our healthcare facilities is over.

“The prices of drugs in public facilities are now also affordable and uniform across the state because the agency also controls it. At the moment, we are also extending the gesture to private hospitals in the state who are willing to transact business with us,” He stated.

Gwamna, commended the contractor for working according to the specification of the project, stating that delivering quality healthcare services was one of the top most priorities of Governor Abdullahi Sule’s administration.

The commissioner reiterated the administration’s commitment to delivering quality healthcare services to residents and assured continued efforts to address health needs effectively.

The fight against counterfeit drugs has been a pressing issue in Nigeria, with recent seizures reported across the country.

Recall that in March, the Nigeria Customs Service discovered fake pharmaceuticals, including Augmentin tablets and Amoxycillin capsules, with an estimated value of N1.7 billion in Oyo/Osun Area Command.

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