Southern Sudan is revamping its pharmaceutical supply chain, building laboratories and monitoring units to prevent smuggling of fake drugs as it recovers from 21 years of civil war.

According to Manyang Agoth, Director-General of the Pharmaceutical Services at the Southern Sudan’s Ministry of Health, the drug supply system collapsed during the civil war as “then-existing facilities – including fully-equipped laboratories and mini monitoring stations – were deserted. Everyone, including workers, sought refuge elsewhere,” reports the Science and Development Network (SciDevNet).

The broken supply chain has caused the government to stockpile drugs and air-lift them during disasters because even the roads are in poor condition. After the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between Southern and Northern Sudan, the government established a pharmaceutical taskforce for research and laboratories provided with aid from other countries including the U.S. and Germany, reports SciDevNet.

“We have already set up three [laboratories] at Kaya, Nimule and Juba airport entry points — these are meant to monitor smuggling of counterfeit drugs into our markets,” Agoth said, “as unscrupulous businessmen were cashing in on the collapse of the pharmaceutical system, and the absence of monitoring systems.” Agoth is hopeful that this is the first step towards the development of a “fully operational and effective” drug supply chain, reports SciDevNet.