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Resource August 13, 2013

Kathleen McLaughlin Reports on China's Problem with Fake Drugs in Africa

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Today China focuses much of its foreign aid on healthcare in the developing world. It has achieved...

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Kathleen McLaughin. Image by Tomasz Sajewicz.

In its quest to win allies and influence global affairs, China focuses much of its aid on health care in the developing world. But as Beijing-based journalist Kathleen McLaughlin reports, China has extreme challenges of its own, due to endemic corruption and safety issues.

While China's health programs, hospitals and medical teams often do provide access to life-saving drugs, vaccines and medical care in Africa and Southeast Asia, problems in the supply chain are already affecting global health in negative ways. Fake drugs threaten China's image in Africa and, more importantly, the health of African people who have been making incremental gains thanks to global aid programs.

Focusing on fake malaria pills, Kathleen traveled to Tanzania and Uganda, two of the countries worst-plagued by the parasite, given their borders on Great Lake Victoria, the world's second-largest lake and home to some of the world's deadliest mosquitoes. In this video, Kathleen discusses her project – and the reaction it provoked in China.


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