Africa struggles to stem the deadly flood of fake medicine

After he was struck down by malaria and typhoid, Togolese tailor Ayawo Hievi thought he was set to recover when he started taking drugs prescribed by his doctor.

But far from curing him, the medication he was given at the neighbourhood clinic made him far worse — eventually costing him one of his kidneys. The drugs were fake.

“After four days of care, there was no improvement, but I started to feel pain in my belly,” Hievi, 52, told AFP.

After two weeks of suffering, he became unable to walk and was rushed into the university hospital in the West African nation’s capital Lome.

“The doctors told me that my kidneys had been damaged… the quinine and the antibiotics used to treat me in the medical office were fake drugs.”

Now, over four years later, he remains crippled by chronic kidney failure and has to go to the hospital for dialysis regularly.

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