Modern Medicine NVinacco/Flickr

Innovación local para problemas locales

BOSTON – Mientras más aprendemos sobre la amenaza que plantean los medicamentos falsificados o de baja calidad, más claro resulta que se trata de un problema mucho mayor de lo que se creía. Es también un problema que afecta mucho más a los países en desarrollo, donde los medicamentos falsos y de baja calidad son responsables de la muerte de más de 500,000 personas al año y afectan a millones más pues contribuyen al surgimiento de enfermedades que son resistentes a los tratamientos actuales.

El enfoque que adoptan los responsables del diseño de políticas del mundo en desarrollo complica el problema, pues tienden a buscar soluciones en el exterior y no a nivel local. Esta miopía es un grave error que obstaculiza la innovación y el progreso. Cuando se trata de abordar desafíos de salud de alto impacto, como la proliferación de medicamentos falsos o de mala calidad, no es solo probable que las soluciones e innovaciones locales sean esenciales para cualquier esfuerzo, sino que tienen el potencial de generar beneficios que van mucho más allá del ámbito del problema original.

En todo el mundo en desarrollo, pero de forma más clara en África, hay dos grupos interesados en encontrar herramientas para combatir la amenaza de los medicamentos de mala calidad. Uno de los grupos, compuesto de estudiantes, empresarios e investigadores, busca soluciones locales, originales y a la medida de las necesidades de sus sociedades. Sus miembros están más dispuestos a compartir ideas y a colaborar. Si bien este grupo ha producido algunas soluciones innovadoras – por ejemplo, el empresario Bright Simmons de Ghana está utilizando tecnología celular para combatir el problema de los medicamentos falsificados – se debe promover la participación de muchos más inventores y empresarios locales y apasionados.

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