A new project launched by UK-based charity The Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation aims to divert surplus medical supplies from clinical trials free of charge to teaching hospitals and clinical practices in Africa.   

The EMESAY Project (Medical Supplies for Africa) is being managed by Crest Meridian, a UK-based company specialising in global retail, medical and export-trade services.

Crest Meridian is asking for unwanted medicines such as antibiotics, antibacterials, antifungals, antivirals, antiretrovirals, bronchodilators, vitamins, analgesics, antihistamines, steroids, antacids and antihypertensives.

It can also use surplus medical equipment such as thermometers, stethoscopes, swabs, bandages, masks, forceps, sutures and tubes.

According to the company, the main objectives of the EMESAY Project are:

  • Distributing unwanted medical supplies from clinical trials to clinics in Africa and ensuring continuity of supply.
  • Establishing a purchase option for low-cost generic medicines, where this is necessary.
  • Ensuring that donations through the EMESAY Project open up distribution channels to remote and hard-to-reach areas of Africa.                 

Supply surpluses

While there are more than 50,000 clinical trials in progress around the world, medical supplies for these studies are not always used, Crest Meridian points out.

Some hospitals, for example, sign up for a trial programme but do not get as far as treating any subjects

There may also be wastage due to batch over-runs, returns, consignments with minor outer-packaging faults or ‘make to give’ production runs, Crest Meridian adds. 

The Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation was officially launched in February by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo to address non-communicable diseases, food shortages, youth empowerment and education for women in Africa.

The EMESAY Project has set up social networking sites online at: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Medical-Supplies-Africa-EMESAY-Project-5141645; and at https://twitter.com/EMESAY_Project.