Wednesday, May 17, 2006

BBC Documentary on Nigerian Drug Regulatory Agency (NAFDAC) Wins Award

A survey conducted by the World Health Organization a while back found more than half the drugs on sale in Nigeria were fake or sub-standard.British Broadcasting Corporation.

The Dr Dora Akunyili-led Nigerian National Food and Drug Agency (NAFDAC) has performed exceeding well in implementing and enforcing major regulations, and bringing back santity to the often-risky Nigerian food and drug sector.

Until her arrival, writes the BBC, "NAFDAC, like many other government organisations in Nigeria, had functioned little better than a toll gate. Importers simply paid a bribe to get their products into the market...When the public saw the dragons she [Akunyili] was slaying, she may have become Nigeria's uncrowned queen, but the counterfeiters fought back. They burnt down NAFDAC's offices... shot her in her car.... she survived."

The agency and some of its activities have been discussed on this site and other Nigerian sites. The agency was also the focus of an award-winning BBC TV documentary: This World: Bad Medicine, produced by Olenka Frenkiel in 2005. This documentary has won the Peabody Awards, an award given in recognition of "outstanding achievement in broadcasting and cable", the award is also open to works produced for "alternative distribution, including corporate, educational, home-video release, CD-ROM and World Wide Web."