German start-up raises the stakes in combating global health problems in AfricaChemnitz, )
Protection of 20 million masks against COVID-19
In November, MED-PROTEX PRODUCTION S.A. starts the production of certified COVID-19 protective masks using German industrial technology in Grand-Bassam, Côte d'Ivoire. Together with the high-tech start-up authentic.network, a completely new combination of protective equipment and digital applications will be launched. For example, proof of authenticity and usage is completely digitized. The buyers of the protective masks only need their smartphone to determine whether the mask is genuine and has the corresponding certification. The entire system is authenticated by means of blockchain technology so that the risk of forgery and manipulation of the data is excluded. For the free issue of state-subsidized FFP2 masks, the solution has been expanded to recognize whether the mask recipient is authorized to purchase the mask. This smart contract solution does not require any existing databases, IT systems or paper. A smartphone is sufficient for the processes to be carried out.
With authentic.network technology, almost all products and documents can be made forgery-proof in no time at all and linked to digital applications or new types of services. For this purpose, the products and documents are either printed with a new type of cryptographic code or affixed with a sticker. The code itself can be easily recognized as a green tick and generally indicates “original”. The authentic technology is also used for the protection and quality assurance of medicines: “The protection of medicines is an extremely important project for us in our efforts to save human lives and to develop new, local jobs in Africa”, says Frank Theeg, General Director of authentic.network.
60 percent of all African medicines are counterfeit
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), between 30 and 60 percent of counterfeit drugs are distributed to sick people in Africa. According to the WHO, the origin of most plagiarism, which is not subject to any scientifically based testing, is suspected to be in China and India. According to estimates by the organization, around 200,000 people die every year as a result of counterfeit antimalarial drugs. The Ivory Coast state alone is losing around 80 million euros in sales in the private sector and 16 million euros from the state through the trade in counterfeit drugs. Money that might otherwise have flowed into jobs or useful projects in African countries.
Kick-off: First implementation of the authentic technology
The Ministry of Health of Côte d’Ivoire started this project with a financial support from DEG, the German Investment and Development Company. The aim is to develop a pilot application for the introduction of authentic technology in Côte d'Ivoire. After the project started in February 2021, the first results were presented at the conference. The aim is to develop a pilot application for the introduction of authentication technology in Côte d'Ivoire. In addition to end-to-end protection for locally produced drugs, gray market protection is to be implemented in the pilot. The corresponding processes and interfaces have been analyzed, the APP has been programmed and can now be downloaded from the app stores in Côte d'Ivoire. In addition, the app with the name "authentic.app" is free of charge. As soon as the green tick can be found on the medication, the service can be used.
After the successful congress in Abidjan: The next phase of integration of the first four local manufacturers of medicines and medical protective equipment is starting now. If the process is successful, there is a real chance to make all medicines in Côte d'Ivoire forgery-proof.