Denmark: A UPF Thematic Meeting
“Eradication of Fake and Substandard Medications”
Prepared by UPF Denmark
On Tuesday March 5th, 2019, UPF organized a thematic meeting in cooperation with AfP Dr. Bakhtyar Baram in UPF Peace Center in Copenhagen. In 2017 Dr. Baram was appointed AfP based on his volunteer work in Iraq.
The meeting was attended by 25 people among them several chief physicians, other doctors, nurses, a Christian pastor and missionary, many of them family, friends and contacts of Dr. Baram.
After welcoming remarks Thorkil Christensen introduced UPF, its mission and peace principles and our work to create world peace as one family under God. Then the video “What is an Ambassador for Peace?” was shown.
Dr. Bakhtyar Baram first expressed his pride as an AfP and member of UPF. He came to Denmark from Kurdish region of Northern Iraq and worked as an orthopedic surgeon both in Iraq and Denmark. He also has done humanitarian work in Palestine. His wife also works as a chief physician in Denmark.
For the last few months Dr. Baram worked in Iraq. At the beginning of this year he could no longer keep silent about the suffering of his patients due to fake and substandard drugs. In an attempt to bring some attention to this grievous problem, in a television show he publicly called on the relevant national authorities to better address this problem. What he never had expected was that he later the same night was attempted murdered for his honest utterances. Gang members made a vicious attempt at killing him for his utterances. Though shocked by the incident he luckily survived the vicious attack but had subsequently no other choice than to flee the country immediately fearing for his life.
Back in Denmark he started to think what he could do to solve this serious global problem.
With sarcasm he mentioned, “in my area some says only 70% of the medicine is fake or substandard.” Several trucks filled with substandard medicine crossed to border to Kurdistan every day. Such medicine injured and killed thousands of people. It killed much more people than ISIS. It is a billion-dollar business covered and maintained by corrupt authorities and governments.
This obviously has many unfortunate consequences for the mainly poor and disadvantaged people. Their health is seriously compromised and in addition to their original illnesses they risk serious complications by the administered fake and substandard drugs. It is not only the patients who are afflicted by this huge problem. The good name and timely efforts of the scientists and medical corporations working hard to develop proper medications are brought in vain. Not to speak of the great frustrations the many doctors, striving daily to improve the health of their patients, are suffering when they experience their patients´ health deteriorate further despite their best attempts at alleviating their health problems.
Therefore, Dr. Baram took initiative to establish “The International Organization for the Eradication of Fake and substandard Medications” www.ioefm.org
The audience was shocked by the scale and size of this problem and during the Q&A participants tried to come up with proposals and steps to put focus on and solve this terrible problem. At the same time, it put our domestic problems into perspective.
There was great respect for the work of UPF and many participants thanked UPF for taking up and putting focus on this serious problem. After the program Dr. Baram had ordered a delicious dinner for everybody from a Kurdish restaurant. There were lively sharing and networking during the dinner and coffee time.