I write this with two very personal motivations, may be three.
First, my parents are way into their 70s and live in a village and are exposed to the probability of purchasing fake drugs. Secondly, Bright Simons was my room-mate in PRESEC and is a friend, and it irks me that a sound innovation of his is accepted in a country like Nigeria but neglected in his country of birth and residence. Thirdly I am one of millions of Ghanaians who cannot understand why our political leaders in particular will turn a blind eye to a solution meant for the greater good of us all. So you can see this is really personal.
Over the past week we have heard and read about stories of fake drugs on the market. Three companies are alleged to have been selling these fake or sub-standard drugs. Michael Agyekum of KAMA has also been busy explaining to the world the difference between one of his products and some fake ones on the market.
Now, this really is not news. We’ve had fake drugs amongst us since Adams’ time, I believe. Luckily for us though, one of our sons has invented a system which can drastically reduce the incidence of fake drugs. So why have we not accepted the invention of Bright Simons? If we are going to use the adage ‘a prophet is not accepted in his own town’ to deny our people a right to authentic medication then all those who have been at the helm of the Ministry of Health since Bright Simons’ mPedigree came up with the solution should bow their heads in shame.
In an article published earlier this year, Obed Boafo introduces the piece as follows;
“His mPedigree Network, a mobile-based system that allows users to readily verify by text, whether or not the drugs they are patronizing are counterfeit, is a breakthrough invention that has brought relief to millions of households. mPedigree has managed, with an unmatched skill, to sanitize what used to be a system burdened with fake drugs. In partnership with leading telecommunication networks and pharmaceutical companies across the world, they’ve been able to offer a priceless alternative to checking just how good or bad drugs can be. Simons, who has addressed many of the Fortune 100 CEOs, has led a measured but impressive mPedigree growth, making it one of the most talked about smart business ideas of the millennia. Its triumph has been largely attributed to Bright’s personality, which many say, is what fuels mPedigree”.
I don’t want to think Bright Simons’ vociferous posture on national issues via his association with Franklin Cudjoe’s IMANI Ghana is what is annoying our political elite and making them sit on a life-saving solution fully embraced in Kenya and Nigeria but not in our motherland.
Kofi Bentil, one of the guys at mPedigree and IMANI said on Facebook a few days ago that “Fake Drugs… who has the problem??? and who has the solution??? so who has to see who?? For the record MPEDIGREE has been everywhere in Ghana and seen everyone who should be seen, unfortunately after every change of government (including same party changes like Mills to Mahama) it seems we have to go round all over again, so we beg, we are not being too known, but our shoes are worn from trekking corridors in Ghana! So we are sending our small resources to big Nigeria where contrary to the news about how hard things are there, they are quite receptive, and ow, their market is humongous compared to Ghana! The story looks like invented in Ghana, used in Naija”
Indeed ideally, government should be running to Bright Simons to beg him to come use their product in Ghana. But even when Bright puts his love for his nation first and sees officialdom, they drag their feet and do not give a hoot. Perhaps because they buy their paracetamol from Europe? I have not said mPedigree is the all in all solution to our problems. But clearly it offers us life saving solutions we need in Ghana.
To whom it may concern, over to you!