Pretoria, July 9: Doctors Without Borders (MSF), a humanitarian agency on Friday (July 7) ran a campaign seeking the help of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently touring South Africa, to maintain the production and supply of affordable generic medicines from India to millions in that country as well as in the rest of the African continent, IOL News reported.
A billboard trailer was seen at the Union Buildings here with the following message for Modi: "Prime Minister Modi, Don't Shut Down The Pharmacy Of The Developing World!", the report added.
MSF's South Africa spokesperson Claire Waterhouse said the billboard campaign was meant to raise awareness on developments that are occurring in the global pharmaceuticals sector and not any kind of protest, the report said.
"We want South Africans to know that there is an issue and we want Prime Minister Modi to know that we are watching the developments in India closely and we are asking him to stand strong against the pressure he is facing because lives all over the world will be affected (if he succumbs)," the report quoted Waterhouse as saying.
"Our message to the Prime Minister is that South Africans will be directly affected if he rolls back pro-public health patent laws in India, as he is currently being pressured to do by the United States and their multi-national drug corporations. We are asking that he stand strong in the face of this pressure and continue to allow India to provide lifesaving generic medication to the developing world at affordable prices."
South Africa imports the maximum number of medicines from India for a wide range of diseases.