E-DRUG: ARV production in Nigeria?
[In a previous discussion on the ARV factory in Mozambique, E-drugger
Olatubosun Obileye asked what happened in a similar project in Nigeria:
"On the other hand, am wondering what has become of Nigeria's version of
similar project in Yaba, Lagos which is lying moribund after completion of
building and installation of equipments?
We need well meaning individuals, advocates and international agencies like
MSF, WHO to speak up on such issues rather than maintain status quo."
Subject title switched by moderator. WB]
Obileye's observation and question on Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Health ART
Production project is a challenge to those who are in authority and/or those
involved. There was nationwide optimism at the time.
However, after a couple of years down the line, there seems to be nothing
forthcoming! A country like Nigeria, with her tremendous resources (human and
material) can and should actually take the lead and follow in the footsteps of
countries like India and Brazil that have made significant impact in this area.
Nigeria expends so much on ARVs either directly through government funding or
indirectly through partners, the market is quite sizeable, however, it seems
that some unscrupulous agents in governmental circles are busy making their own
money (albeit, illegally) and local production may work against their vested
interests. A serious government should take a hard look at this and move
against such corrupt officials at whatever level.
It is very unfortunate that Nigeria is bedeviled by a crop of retrogressive
officials that do not have the interest of the nation at heart. It is very sad
that people could be corruptly enriching themselves through medicines and
commodities that are meant to alleviate the sufferings of HIV/AIDS victims. It
is an unacceptable face of corruption, worse than trading in counterfeit
Does the Federal Ministry of Health and/or any of its accredited agents have
any info for us on the state of the proposed ART plant? There are many agencies
willing to help Nigeria if only there can be a sign of seriousness on the part
of the government. Let the government begin to "walk the talk". If the nation
must develop, then we must take the bull by the horn. Enough of rhetoric!
Professor 'Fola Tayo, MFR
Retired Professor of Clinical Pharmacy
University of Lagos.