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Published on October 16, 2019 / Public Health

Creation of the Steering Committee for the programme on substandard and falsified medicines


We are delighted to announce the creation of the Steering Committee on Substandard and Falsified Medicines. Advisory Board members Kgalema Motlanthe, Kabiné Komara, Amama Mbabazi, and Jean-Louis Bruguière have accepted the invitation of the Foundation's president to form the Steering Committee to guide the Foundation's work on trafficking of falsified and substandard medicines in Africa, including the Lomé Initiative. The former President of Malawi, Dr. Joyce Banda, who we hope will soon join the Advisory Board, has also agreed to join the group.

Caption (left to right): Advisory Board members Kgalema Motlanthe, Kabiné Komara, Amama Mbabazi and Jean-Louis Bruguière, and former Malawian President Dr. Joyce Banda.

Here is their message:


"We are extremely concerned about the effects of this trafficking on Africans. Fully committed in our previous positions to the long-term development of the continent, we now want to ensure that all Africans have access to safe medicines by introducing strict standards that fill the current gaps in criminal legislation.


The criminal trafficking of falsified medicines is a scourge that every country must now combat. It represents a considerable risk to public health as it leads to the death of hundreds of thousands of Africans every year. Our response to this threat requires the involvement of the entire international community. Especially since this crisis is not limited to the health aspect.


Transnational criminal organisations, including the terrorist groups we have been fighting for decades, have always used this traffic to finance their operations. Beyond the health risk, trafficking in falsified medicines contributes to insecurity and instability throughout the African continent.


Six heads of state have decided to join forces to address this issue. The Lomé Initiative is a concrete response that will lead to the criminalization of this deadly trafficking .


Moreover, the Lomé Initiative highlights the incredible vitality of African diplomacy in addressing a major health and security issue.


This agreement is also an opportunity to highlight the personal commitment of six heads of state to peace and a more secure future for Africans.


We must understand the magnitude of the challenge and meet it together.


This initiative will be the first stone of an ever more ambitious project, as we wish to invite all African heads of state, and the international community as a whole, to join our action."