Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Jonathan Pledges Affordable, Safe Drugs

President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed the committment of his administration to providing affordable life-saving drugs nationwide as one of the primary objectives of its strategy for improving health care delivery.

Speaking yesterday when he received a delegation from the Merck Pharmaceuticals Company of Germany, President Jonathan said government is doing everything possible to ensure that genuine essential drugs and medicines are constantly available in hospitals and pharmacies in country.

The president said the government is working with drug manufacturers, friendly nations and international organizations towards the achievement of this objective and would welcome increased international support and assistance for its effort to give more Nigerians easier access to essential drugs and medicines.

Jonathan thanked the Merck delegation led by Dr. Frank Stangenberg Haverkamp-Merck for the company's ongoing support for health care delivery in Nigeria through the continued donation of large quantities of its drug Praziquantel for the free treatment of schistosomiasis or bilharzia, a chronic illness that can damage internal organs and, in children, impair growth and cognitive development.

Dr. Haverkamp-Merck told the President that his company which is the oldest pharmaceuticals company in the world, having been in existence since 1668, will continue to support the Jonathan administration's Save One Million Lives Initiative in every possible way.

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