|Since December 2010, the National Laboratory of Quality Control of Medicines in Cotonou has entered a new phase of activity: the extension financed by the Beninese government, the Fondation Chirac, and the Pierre Fabre Foundation was completed in the fall of 2010. The Laboratory was inaugurated December 20, 2010.|
The inauguration ceremony took place in the presence of the Beninese Minister of Health, Issifou Takpara; the Special Counselor to the President of Benin, Edgar Kpatindé; the Director General of the Laboratory, Farid Baba-Moussa; the Director of Pharmacies, Medicines and Diagnostics; a representative of the French Embassy to Benin; Jacques Godfrain, former French Minister of Cooperation and Member of the Fondation Chirac Scientific Committee; and Philippe Bernagou, Director of the Pierre Fabre Foundation. Alongside the Fondation Chirac and the Government of Benin, the Pierre Fabre Foundation supported this project to modernize the Laboratory.
Philippe Bernagou and Valérie Terranova, Founding Member and Secretary General of the Administrative Council of the Fondation, laid the first stone in February 2009. Following the Cotonou Declaration, President Jacques Chirac visited the Laboratory with Professor Marc Gentilini, Managing Director for the Program for Access to Quality Healthcare.
This pilot project in Benin that was the first field project funded by the Fondation Chirac under the program for access to quality medicines and healthcare completed more than 1639 analyses in 2010. The Laboratory’s goal is to increase the number of tests on medicines to receive official recognition by the World Health Organization so that it could test medication for region, as the whole of West Africa is also touched by the traffic of fake medicines.
As Philippe Bernagou highlighted during his speech at the inauguration: “it (the laboratory) must be considered as a tool in the fight against big pandemics like HIV/AIDS, malaria, Tuberculosis and all chronic illnesses.” Jacques Godfrain insisted on veterinary medicines: according to him the laboratory should also test them. The health of livestock also suffers from the traffic of fake medicines, for the same reasons as does human health, and has possible consequences for food security.
A tool in the fight and a model that can be reproduced elsewhere, everywhere that the need is felt, this Laboratory of scientific analysis fights against the traffic of fake medicines and for the right to health for all.