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Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation

PROJECT 066: MEDISAFE – Combating illicit traffic and enhancing the safety of medicines in Eastern and Central Africa


The production, trafficking and consumption of falsified medicines poses a threat to public health and public security and fuels organized crime flows and networks. Although no country is protected against this threat, the impact is particularly important in developing countries where falsified medicines are found in the treatment of life-threatening diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV and other severe microbial infections. The European Union, through the Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence Initiative is tackling the issue of falsified medicines. MEDISAFE, implemented in Eastern and Central Africa, is part of this initiative.

Overall objective

The general objective of MEDISAFE is to support the fight against the production and trafficking of substandard and falsified medicines and pharmaceuticals in eleven countries in East and Central Africa.

Specific objectives

Specifically, the project contributes to fight against organized crime and to achieve better health outcomes based on two strategies:

  1. Contributing to strengthening partner countries' capacities and added value in the identification of substandard and falsified medical products and in the fight against their production and trafficking in Eastern and Central Africa;
  2. Strengthening regional cooperation and harmonization in terms of approaches, procedures and joint operations to combat the production and trafficking of falsified medical products and medicines.

The whole strategy relies on the development of a robust legal framework.


  1. Strengthening risk awareness among civil society;
  2. Strengthening legal frameworks to penalize the production and trafficking of substandard and falsified medical products;
  3. Capacity building of the actors involved (security forces, judicial bodies, health professionals including pharmacists and laboratories);
  4. Improving drug supply and distribution chains’ security;
  5. Improving inter-agency cooperation at national level (police, customs, pharmaceutical inspection, etc.);
  6. Strengthening regional and international cooperation to support the harmonization of approaches and laws and to enhance the effectiveness of the fight against falsified medicines.


  • 22 national experts, including 6 women, in the project’s 11 partner countries of East and Central Africa;
  • 11 technical seminars on “Best Legislative Practices” for legal professionals concerning the application of the law, definitions and international alignments in relation to counterfeit, substandard and falsified medicines;
  • 11 technical seminars on “Identification, Detection and Control of the SFMHP” building capacity of the national medical regulatory authority, national quality control laboratories and other institutions, including the private sector, to carry out post market surveillance and pharmacovigilance activities;
  • 11 awareness-raising seminars with “Women Civil Society Organizations” to sensitize the community on the scourge of counterfeit medicines, street pharmacies or online medicines sales;
  • The Bulk SMS campaign launched in Kenya touched 85,000 health workers through 170,000 SMS messages.
CBRN areas
  • Bio-safety/bio-security
  • Border control and monitoring
  • Crisis management
  • Illicit trafficking
  • Import/export control
  • Legal framework
  • Safeguarding information diffusion
  • Safety and security
  • Waste management
CBRN categories
  • Chemical
  • Biological
CoE Region
  • ECA - Eastern and Central Africa
10 NOVEMBER 2023
Project 066 Factsheet



European Commission

United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)



Expertise France - Agence Francaise D'expertise Technique Internationale (French public agency for international technical assistance) (AFETI)


This project is part of a pre-existing EU activity in the regions and has not resulted from the submission of a CoE project proposal. Due to the different origin of the project, not all countries involved are CoE partner countries.

** This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

*** This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue.