Drug regulators study global treaty to tackle counterfeit drugsBMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7438.486-c (Published 26 February 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:486
All rapid responses
The attempted coup of September 19th 2002 in the Ivory Coast (IVCO)
caused a health crisis in the country as follows.
i) It is estimated that
85% of hospitals were closed and more than 85% of health care personnel
left the New Forces zones (in the North of IVCO) at the beginning of the
coup. More than 60% of the private pharmacies were closed and those that
were opened were not functional with an unestimated number of counterfeit
drugs2,3. Due to European Union’s financial support, the Red Cross
supplied 110 medical centers in zones where the pharmacy of the ministry
of public health could not. The scientific research was also left in
ii) On January 30th 2003 an epidemic of measles occurred in
refugee camps in the west of the country. United Nations Children’s Fund
(UNICEF) would fund a 25 million-dollar program over five years till 2007
to ease the “alarming situation” of women and children, who have been
particularly vulnerable since the beginning of the coup. UNICEF is seeking
$6.9 million (less than US$1 per child) for a nationwide measles
vaccination campaign to be launched in December 2004. The latter campaign
targets 7,4640,334 children.
iii) Nutritional problems also occurred:
about 28% of children were underfed. Some 450,000 children from 6 to 59
months of age have to date been provided with Vitamin A. Micronutrient
deficiencies have been heightened due to poor diets and lack of access to
iv) The war are led to an estimated 3,000 deaths and over
1,000,000 people fleeing the combat zones with increased cases of post-
traumatic stress disorder5. Life expectancy has therefore fallen
dramatically. Beside encouraging help effort, an important question for
the international community to think about is how to better assist
developing countries in preventing such medical disasters?
1. Farmer, P. Political violence and public health in Haiti. N Engl J Med.
2004; 350 (15): 1483-1486.
2. Veronin MA, Youan, BBC. Magic bullet gone astray: medications and the
Internet. Science. 2004; 305: 481.
3. Gibson L. Drug regulators study global treaty to tackle counterfeit
drugs. BMJ. 2004: 328:486.
4. Degen, M, Civil war leaves Ivory Coast research in tatters. Nature.
2003; 421: 680.
5.Friedman MJ. Acknowleding the psychiatric cost of war. N Engl J Med.
2004; 351: 75-77.
Competing interests: No competing interests