When you pop a Tylenol or give your baby some store-bought meds, you assume those meds are real, right? What if there’s a 30 percent chance that the medicine you swallow or give to your child isn’t medicine at all? What if your medicine is “real” only about 70 percent of the time?
The Food & Drug Administration in the United States would never allow such a thing, you say.
Yet, as the Associated Press reports, more than 30 percent of malaria medicines on the African continent are estimated to be fake, and many look identical to the real thing.
Thankfully though, Africa has now begun to employ a solution to this problem. According to the AP:
A new project called mPedigree lets consumers send in a code via text message that lets them check if their drugs are genuine. It was recently adopted in Nigeria, with plans for wider use elsewhere in Africa. Last month, the Nigerian government decided to introduce the technology for all medicines in the future, not just anti-malarials.
It warms the heart to see a piece of technology that could save our African babies. Since text messaging is more widely available to poverty-stricken areas of the globe than, say, the Internet, it’s a brilliant idea to help them safeguard against fake medicines by verifying their drugs via text message.
What’s even more reassuring is that this text-verification system was developed by an African entrepreneur, Bright Simons–from Ghana.
His execution of this technological invention sends a great message of self-determination and empowerment.
Hopefully, this message will ricochet across African nations, and help people realize the only philosophy that can save them, i.e. that they must claim ownership of their own society’s problems and then do something constructive about them.
Healing, as they say, comes from the inside.