By Joaquin Sendolo
Private Joint Stock Company, a Ukraine-based entity engaged in manufacturing insulin for diabetes, has turned over to the Ministry of Health (MOH) a sizeable quantity of the drug to help treat diabetic patients in the country.
The medication was recently turned over to MOH at the offices of the National Drug Service (NDS) with the emphasis that it should be used for Liberian patients, a representative of the company, Lawrence H. Saytue, said.
Saytue said it is a great opportunity for Liberia to associate with the company and Ukraine, and hoped that the relationship will continue to yield benefits for the country.
The Chief Pharmacist of Liberia, Rev. Tijli Tarty Tyee, said the drug came through the influence of Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Nah Kateh.
Rev. Tyee raised an alarm that the disease is rapidly increasing in Liberia, although he did not elaborate.
“We were just left with a little quantity of the drug as cases of the disease increased, and this is why we feel that the drug arrived at the right time to attend to patients,” he said.
He added that diabetes is becoming a public health issue in the world and receiving such a huge quantity of the drug is a blessing to the country.
Tyee said the drugs would run up to 2018 before some expired.
He clarified that rice, cassava and eddoes are some of the foods leading to diabetes, as well as the failure of people to exercise regularly.
He said while these varieties of food are also essential for the body, they contain glucose and starch that when not mixed, can lead to people coming down with diabetes (otherwise known as sugar sickness).
He advised that when eating the above listed food items, they should be mixed with enough protective foods, including fruits and vegetables.
With the friendship coexisting between Liberia and Ukraine, the Chief Pharmacist disclosed that he and others have been invited to travel to that country to assess the plant that produces the insulin.
He also disclosed that negotiation is underway for the company to build the plant here in Liberia to locally produce insulin.
However, Rev. Tyee said the company is skeptical about building the plant here in Liberia for fear that they may not have the market.
Meanwhile, he said they are actively convincing the Private Joint Stock Company that the market will be here because such a plant will be the first and only one in Africa for now, and people from other African countries will order the drug from Liberia since diabetes is prevalent in Africa.