As the United States has committed billions of dollars to aid the underdeveloped African nations to fight widespread sickness, one USAID funded initiative has seen over $72 million in free medicine provided to 19 countries since 2011, including $15 million just in 2016.
However, much of the donated drug intended to treat malaria is ending up on the black market instead, according to Judicial Watch, who reported that at least “20% of the American-funded malaria drugs were diverted annually, with a street value of about $60 million.”
Drugs intended to combat the effects of malaria continue to be sent overseas into Africa from the United States, but concerns regarding the theft of the medicine are staggering to new heights.
The U.S. Agency for International Development has gone as far as offering cash rewards for intel into the black market heists, pleading anyone with knowledge of the drug’s disappearance to call “malaria hotlines”.
Following weeks of gathering evidence and pinpointing targets by the USAID and the Guinean National Gendarmerie, proof of the illegal sale of the antimalarial medicine was revealed. Already this year, the USAID Inspector General Ann Calvaresi-Barr made public the arrests of eight individuals selling the drug in Conakry’s open markets.
Calvaresi-Barr insisted such a practice keeps Guineans very much in need of the drug from receiving proper care, and that “profiting illicitly from health programs is especially egregious.”
Bred by mosquitos, malaria is fatal if left without persistent care. The parasitic disease saw an estimated 214 million documented cases in 2015, and of the 0.2% of deaths caused by malaria that year, most were children in Africa according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
H/T: Judicial Watch
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