Posted by Effiong Udousoroh, Uyo | 9 September 2015 | 4,472 times
The Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Health has placed a ban on the sale, hawking, advertisement and unregulated display of food and drugs preparations throughout the state.
The ministry directed that sales, hawking, advertisements and distribution of these products, either in buses, vans or whatever means, be discontinued forthwith.
The directive was contained in a press statement, issued in Uyo and signed by the Director of Pharmaceutical Services in the ministry, Mrs. Mary Ukponguso, on behalf of the commissioner of health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong.
The statement stated that the products were purported to be cleansers, bitter, food supplements and other forms of herbal preparations.
The preparations, according to the hawkers, claimed to provide solutions or instant cure for different types of body ailments and diseases, including, hypertension, diabetes, malaria, typhoid fever, infertility, cancer, fibroid and pile, among other ailments.
The health ministry, with its expertise know-how, argued that these claims by producers and hawkers of such products and preparations “have not been scientifically substantiated by relevant regulatory authorities”, explaining that “reports have linked several unpleasant health consequences and problem of kidney failures and death” to the consumption of these unprescribed products.
“To ensure the success of this ban, the Pharmaceutical Inspection Committee of the ministry, has been strengthened to carry out surveillance and enforcement, to apprehend and prosecute perpetrators of the act, in line with the provision of relevant laws”, the statement assured.
Members of the public had been advised to exercise caution in the consumption of unprescribed drugs and herbs by certified medical personnel, as they have also been urged to seek medical attention for their health problems in various health facilities in the state.
Meanwhile, some consumers of the herbal preparations and the drugs, who spoke to the News Express in Uyo, the state capital today, decried the ban, saying that “it is uncalled for, considering the high cost of medical treatment in the hospitals, coupled with incessant strikes by medical staff and frustrating delays in attending to patients,” while other respondents described the ban as “long over-due”, and “a welcome decision”, arguing that the “blaring sounds of their loud speakers in all nooks and corners of the town, were highly disturbing and constituting public nuisance.”
News Express reports that some of the prohibited herbal preparations and drugs openly hawked, sold and advertised in the state, included, Ori, Dr. Iguedo Goko cleanser, Shea butter ointment, Alomo Bitters, Pure Cocoa Tea and New Life, among others, most of which went for N500 each.
•Photo shows Governor Udom Emmanuel.
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