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Wake Up, NAFDAC!

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In the recent past, the sales of counterfeit drugs in patent medicine shops across the country by those ubiquitous medicine dealers, have reached a frenetic and feverish pitch. Yet, the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) was set up to halt the manufacture and sales of adulterated drugs in the nation’s cities, towns and villages.

Yes, it is an incontrovertible fact that the fight against fake drugs has over the years been a national question in the nation’s polity. Well, the effort of officials of NAFDAC to reduce to the barest minimum, the sales of counterfeit drugs, appears not to have yielded the desired result.

Sadly, Nigerians and indeed residents of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, may have been stunned to hear that over 90 per cent of the pharmaceutical and patent medicine stores in Port Harcourt sell fake drugs to members of the public. This is indeed, unfortunate, to say the least!

Mr Momodu Segiru, Director of the Port Harcourt Inspectorate Directorate of NAFDAC, said the discovery followed a mechanical test carried out last Monday on  drugs in circulation in the Port Harcourt metropolis, and announced that the test was part of the agency’s nationwide sensitization campaign to ascertain the level of fake and substandard drugs in circulation with the aim of mopping up dangerous drugs and identifying their sources.

According to Mr Segiru, the exercise was also to demonstrate the use of the “true scan” equipment for on the spot testing of drugs, and noted that the machine  (true scan) has indeed, brought some speed and accuracy in NAFDAC’s operations, as massive failure was recorded in Choba, Mile One and some other areas of Port Harcourt.

To the chagrin of NAFDAC officials, it was also discovered that all the drug stores tested in Rumuokwurusi and Woji areas of Port Harcourt, recorded failure in one drug or the other, an obvious indication that very limited wholesome drugs are in circulation in Port Harcourt and its suburbs.

Oddly enough, with the discovery that over 90 per cent of drugs sold in patent medicine shops in Port Harcourt are fake, it is certainly not an overstatement that the life of most residents are now in great danger, apparently caused by those ubiquitous patent medicine dealers. Indeed, it also rubbished the image of NAFDAC, as the agency charged with the responsibility of policing the manufacturers and wholesalers of fake drugs in the country.

The question now is: What were the officials of NAFDAC in Port Harcourt doing when the spate of fake drugs in circulation got to 90 per cent level? Undoubtedly, this is an indication that the agency’s personnel are not doing enough to nip in the bud the antics of adulterated drug dealers.

Again, if 90 per cent of the pharmaceutical and patent medicine shops in Port Harcourt sell counterfeit drugs to members of the public, then only heavens know the spate of fake drugs being sold in the 23 local government areas of the state. This is why NAFDAC officials must wake up from their stupor and move into the grassroots in order to halt the trend.

All said, not too long ago, NAFDAC shut over 200 patent medicine shops in Cross River State, as announced by the Deputy Coordinator of NAFDAC in the state, Abdulkarim Razaz. He said in his office in Calabar that the campaign against fake and adulterated drugs would continue as long as patent drug dealers did not discontinue in the nefarious trade of selling fake drugs.

While commending the effort of NAFDAC officials for shutting down over 200 patent medicine shops in the state, one is at a loss to understand why over 200 patent medicine stores were still operating in the state right under the nose of officials of NAFDAC serving in that state

Beyond that, the authorities of NAFDAC must spread their dragnets to all the nooks and crannies in the state in order to apprehend more patent medicine stores, still selling fake and counterfeit drugs. This, would in no mean way, reduce (drastically) the danger being faced by consumers of fake drugs in the state.

Obviously, Rivers and Cross River states are not the only states enveloped in the sale of fake and counterfeit drugs. Therefore, NAFDAC authorities must beef up their investigations into the existence of patent medicine shops, dealing on fake drugs in the country.

One’s position on this touchy issue is premised on confirmed reports that the nation’s cities, towns and villages are again facing the emergence of patent medicine shops, selling fake drugs, few months after the exist of the immediate past director-general of NAFDAC, Prof. Dora Akunyili.

That being so, one believes that the time has come for the authorities of the agency to set up a technical committee in every state of the federation, that would monitor (on regular basis) the sale of counterfeit drugs in the cities, towns and villages across the country.

Yes, NAFDAC’s desire to win the war on fake drugs, can only be achieved if the agency carries its investigations to the villages because, it has been confirmed that counterfeit drugs are sold with ease in the nation’s villages than cities and towns.

 

Friday Nwinudee

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NAFDAC Alerts Nigerians To EU Ban On Dex Soap

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The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has alerted Nigerians on the ban on Dex Luxury Bar Soap (No 6 Mystic Flower), by the European Union (EU).
The notification is contained in a public alert with No. 012/2024, signed by NAFDAC Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, and issued to newsmen in Abuja yesterday.
“The product does not comply with the cosmetic products regulation; it also contains Butyphenyl Methylpropional (BMHCA), which is prohibited in cosmetic products due to its risk of harming the reproductive system.
“It also causes harm to the health of unborn children and may cause skin sensitisation.
“It is as a result of the defective nature of the product that the EU banned it.
“The products is not in NAFDAC database; importers, distributors, retailers and consumers are to exercise caution and vigilance within the supply chain,” she said.
NAFDAC boss urged marketers and consumers to avoid the importation, distribution, sale and use of the product, stressing that product’s authenticity and physical condition must be carefully checked.
She enjoined members of the public in possession of the product to discontinue sale or use, and submit stock to the nearest NAFDAC office.

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Communities, Volunteers Ready To Face Upcoming Floods – Red Cross

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The Country Manager of the British Red Cross in Nigeria, Karsten Voigt, says communities and volunteers are ready to face the challenges expected with the upcoming floods.
Voigt said this at the sidelines of the 56th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), Lagos Branch.
The Tide’s source recalls that the British Red Cross donated resilience items to some communities in December 2023, to help mitigate the effects of flooding.
The items included cash, rain boots, rain coats, mosquito nets, handheld flashlights, solar powered lights with radio, USB chargers and a bridge to link the communities.
The communities that benefited included Agboyi 1, Agboyi 2, Agboyi 3 and Odo Ogun in Kosofe Local Government Area of the state.
Voigt said the Red Cross had measured the impact of the project in the communities and noticed that a lot of progress had been made.
According to him, apart from the cash and items given to the communities, simulation exercises have also been carried out to prepare the volunteers ahead of the floods.
“We have seen that people used the cash to address immediate needs they have after floods.
“Many households have used part of the cash to build up businesses.
“The solutions we have given to them are not only addressing their immediate needs after the disaster but actually building family income for their future,” he said.

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Nimet Forecasts Three-Day Sunshine, Thunderstorms

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The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted sunshine and thunderstorm from Monday to Wednesday across the country.
NiMet’s weather outlook released yesterday in Abuja, forecasts sunny skies on Monday with a few patches of cloud over the northern cities and prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Taraba later in the day.
According to the forecast, sunny skies with patches of clouds are expected over the North Central region with prospects of morning thunderstorm over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa, Kogi and Kwara States.
“Later in the day, isolated thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Kogi and Benue States.
“The southern region is expected to be cloudy with spells of sunshine with prospects of morning thunderstorms over parts of Oyo, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo and Lagos States.
“ In the afternoon/evening periods, isolated thunderstorms are expected over parts of Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Ekiti, Ogun, Imo, Oyo, Ondo, Edo, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers, Lagos and Bayelsa States,” it said.
NiMet also anticipated sunny skies on Tuesday with few patches of cloud over the northern states with prospects of isolated thunderstorms envisaged over parts of Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba and Kaduna States during the afternoon and evening hours.
It envisaged the North Central region to be sunny with patches of cloud during the morning hours.
The agency also envisaged isolated thunderstorms over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kogi, Benue, Kwara and Niger States, later in the day.
“Cloudy atmosphere with intervals of sunshine is expected over the inland and coastal areas of the South, with chances of morning thunderstorm over parts of Cross River, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States.
“In the afternoon/evening periods, isolated thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Imo, Anambra, Enugu, Abia, Oyo, Edo, Delta, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Rivers and Bayelsa States ,” it said.
It predicted a sunny atmosphere on Wednesday, with patches of cloud over the northern region, during the forecast period.
“Sunny skies with patches of clouds are expected over the North Central region with chances of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Plateau, Kogi, Nasarawa, the Federal Capital Territory and Benue States, during the afternoon/evening periods.
“ Cloudy atmosphere with intervals of sunshine is expected over the inland and coastal areas of the South with prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi and Abia.”
Other states to experience cloudy atmosphere, are “Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo, Cross River, Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa States, later in the day.”
NiMet urged the public to take adequate precaution as strong winds might precede rains in areas where thunderstorms were likely to occur.
The agency also urged airline operators to get updated weather reports and forecasts from its office for effective planning in their operations.

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