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HomeCARTA FellowsCARTA fellow contributes to WHO publication on substandard and falsified medicines

CARTA fellow contributes to WHO publication on substandard and falsified medicines

Two publications by CARTA fellow Felix Khuluza (cohort 5) have been used to provide evidence for the most authoritative global research on substandard and falsified medicines by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

A study on the public health and socioeconomic impact of substandard and falsified medical products reviewed all scientific papers on substandard and falsified medicines worldwide for the ten year period 2007-2016. 100 papers were included in the data analysis including the papers by the fellow from the University Of Malawi, Department Of Pharmacy. The publications by the CARTA fellow are:

Khuluza, F (2014) “In-vitro evaluation of the quality of Paracetamol and Co-trimoxazole tablets used in Malawi based on pharmacopeial standards,” Malawi Medical Journal, 26(2):38:41.

Khuluza F, Kigera S, Jaehnke RWO, Heide L (2016) “Use of thin-layer chromatography to detect counterfeit sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine tablets with the wrong active ingredient in Malawi,” Malaria Journal, 15:215.

The WHO paper highlights, in part that, substandard and falsified medical products in countries and their use by patients threatens to undermine progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. Such products may be of poor quality, unsafe or ineffective, threatening the health of those that take them. The problem of substandard and falsified medical products continues to increase, as globalized manufacturing and distribution systems grow ever more complex.

Khuluza’s doctoral study funded through the CARTA fellowship is on the quality of medicines in Malawi, under the supervision of Prof. Lutz Heide (University of Malawi) and Prof. Ulrike Holzgrabe (University of Würzburg, Germany). Prof. Heide lauded Khuluza for the fete and added: “The fact that a researcher from the young Pharmacy Department makes quite a relevant contribution to the worldwide knowledge on this important public health topic is very encouraging. I hope he and his colleagues will be able continue and expand this research in future.”

His papers were included because they were published between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2016, contained data on the prevalence of substandard and falsified medical products and described the methodology, including sampling design, sample size and the laboratory analysis among other requirements.

Khuluza, who is also lecturer at the University of Malawi, said: “This is one of the first research results from Pharmacy Department to have an impact nationally and internationally. This achievement has energized me to aim for more robust and impact driven research in the future. My achievements are also encouragement to my fellow colleagues to aim for impact and policy related researches. For the other newly recruited staff members of the department, they consider me as one of their role model in research.”

He added that one of the research paper cited by WHO is part of his PhD work which CARTA is instrumental in its contribution. CARTA has been instrumental in the support of my PhD especially one of the papers cited (Khuluza, F, et al. (2016) “Use of thin-layer chromatography to detect counterfeit sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine tablets with the wrong active ingredient in Malawi,” Malaria Journal, 15:215.).

Khuluza said: “This paper was written after attending two Joint Advances Seminars (JAS) which shaped my writing skills. One of the most notable were comments from Sebastian Brett and Soledad Falabella on the literature review. They really pushed me to be a good writer as I tried as much as possible to make all my writing easy to understand but at the same time more scientific in nature.”

Written by Eunice Kilonzo, CARTA Communications Officer.

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