A water expert at an American company that recently began operations in Nigeria has said that by improving water quality, the country could reduce its need for medications and, as a consequence, limit the exposure of its residents to counterfeit drugs.

James Miller, a water expert and managing director of Pure & Secure Water, spoke in the port city of Lagos, expressing concern at Nigeria’s high mortality rate, according to AllAfrica.com.

Miller said that waterborne diseases, like diarrhea, cholera and typhoid, can be avoided if people have access to clean water.

During his speech, Miller commended the job being done by Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), for their efforts to fight counterfeit drugs, according to the news source. He also said that if the agency could work to cleanup the country’s water supply the need for drugs would be less.

"If NAFDAC focused additional efforts on continually testing water sold to Nigerian consumers; and putting those operators out of business that are selling bad or counterfeit water products, the need for drugs would be greatly reduced; and many more thousands of additional lives could be saved," he said.

By reducing the country’s need for drugs, the amount of people harmed by counterfeit drugs could potentially be limited.