Survey of the quality of selected antimalarial medicines circulating in six countries of sub-Saharan Africa

25 Feb 2011

A WHO report reveals that a third of 306 antimalarial medicines collected and tested from six African countries failed to meet international quality standards.

This survey aimed at evaluating the quality of selected antimalarials in six countries of sub-Saharan Africa (Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and the United Republic of Tanzania). These countries have been supported by WHO to strengthen their regulatory controls over antimalarial products1. The survey was organized independently of manufacturers of antimalarial medicines.

The specific objectives of the survey were to:

  • estimate the proportion of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) products and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP) products meeting specific quality standards at different points of the regulated and informal distribution systems;
  • estimate the proportion of counterfeit ACT and SP products at different points of the regulated and informal distribution systems;
  • identify possible causes for any findings;
  • propose possible strategies and implementation plans to address the problems identified.