By Tahani al-Sabri
Nasser Baoum, Deputy Minister of Public Health reported in a recent statement that 60% of the medicines in the Yemeni market are considered smuggled and fake medicines.
A medical seminar was recently held by Kaizen Medical in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, the Supreme Commission for Drugs and the Union of Importers of Medicine in Yemen. At the seminar, Baoum announced that the ministry is seeking to reduce this phenomenon, which has spread vey quickly, through supervision and examination of relevant medicines in pharmacies and drugstores throughout Yemen.
According to a number of working papers affiliated with the seminar, the drug smuggling is related to the difficulty of effective supervision by national agencies in customs, security, and health authority organs.
One of the submitted papers suggested controlling the outlets of smuggling, such as airports and ports, as well as preventing dealing by unofficial drug traders, especially among accredited importers. Other suggestions focused on accelerating the processing of non-licensed traders in order to get to other drug dealers. It is also important to continue synchronizing trader policies and procedures with relevant laws. In the project manager’s opinion, the media plays a key role in raising industry community awareness of citizens.
The seminar was organized by the Kaizen Medical Foundation in cooperation with relevant government agencies. It is considered one of the activities of the project campaign “My life is my drugs,” a seminar for which will be held later this year in Aden, Dhamar, and Taiz. There will also be a workshop in Sana’a to discuss preparation of the first National Conference on Awareness, which will discuss the damages caused by drug smuggling and forgery in Yemen.
The project aims to increase the awareness of dangers of drug smuggling and its effect on health and citizen life.