• The right medicine

    The right medicine

    A mobile app is helping to combat the spread of counterfeit medication in Kenya.

    An estimated 10% of prescription drugs on the market are counterfeit, posing considerable health threats, especially when the medication is prescribed for chronic or life-threatening illnesses, such as HIV, TB and malaria.

    The Tambua app is designed to help users verify the source of medication using barcodes, QR codes and location-tracking technology. It is hoped that the more popular the app becomes and the more widespread it is used, the harder it’ll become for counterfeiters to reproduce and distribute fake and substandard medication.

    ‘While dying from a disease is inevitable, dying from medicine never should be,’ says Levit Nudi, developer of the app. ‘The application helps consumers to scan and identify products instantly even with limited access to the internet, which differentiates it from other existing solutions in the market.’

    The app was recently announced as one of the five winners of the Johnson & Johnson Champions of Science challenge, which received more than 100 entries from scientists and innovators in 22 African nations, including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda.

    26 March 2019
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images