In a bold move to curb the menace of hawking chemicals in the open markets and streets in Ondo State, operatives of the National Agency for Foods, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have commenced a major raid and enforcement activities across the state impounding chemicals and related substances worth over N2.5 million.
The agency has also lauded herbal pharmaceutical practice and the upsurge in use of herbal medicines in the country.
Director General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, who was represented by Mrs. E. M. Amuta, made this known at Kedi Healthcare Car Awards and 6th yearly celebration.
According to her, “there has been an upsurge in the use of herbal medicines nationally and globally. In order to enhance the development of herbal medicine and facilitate its contribution to the national healthcare system, the Federal Ministry of Health mandated all the states of the federation to set up Boards of Traditional Medicine in 1994.
“Since inception, NAFDAC has encouraged the acceptability and accessibility of traditional medicine in Nigeria through its regulatory efforts.”
According to a statement signed by NAFDAC’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) southwest Zone, Ibadan, Osiyemi Adegboyega, the President of Kedi Healthcare products, Williams Zhao, thanked the Federal Government for giving them the platform and the enabling environment to operate.
Zhao said that Kedi at inception had some economic challenges, but it was able to weather the storm and it now provides quality services in the highly competitive market of herbal products.
NAFDAC’s Head in Ondo, Paul Agbejimi, told journalists in Akure: “The agency as a regulatory body was concerned and had to come in to eradicate the hawking. Because of the ubiquitous nature of chemicals in the very wide range of their uses both poison and hazardous, there was a need for total control to ensure their safe handling, distribution, prevent diversion and avoid banned and expired ones from being sold to the public.”
According to a statement by Anslem Okonkwor of NAFDAC’s Public Relations and Protocol Unit, the exercise took place simultaneously in the four local councils of Akure North, Ondo West, Owo, and Akure South, and exposed the antics of the marketers of chemicals in the state as some of them were seen displaying them in the open especially those mainly for agricultural uses uncontrollably.
Agbejimi argued that the chemicals by that method of sale by the hawkers were exposed to heat and sunlight.
Zhao said: “As a way to further enhance its partnership with the Nigerian government and the pharmaceutical sector thus improving healthcare, Kedi shall set up Chinese clinics in the country.
Southwest regional manager of Kedi, Mr. Samuel Okunade commended the firm in not only making available qualitative herbal products but also providing jobs for Nigerians and lifting them from the shackles of poverty.
President of Fidson Pharmaceuticals, Fidelis Abayae, said the acceptance of Kedi products is a big bonus to pharmaceutical practice in the country especially with the support of NAFDAC in ensuring that only quality pharmaceutical herbal products produced with the highest safety standards are given to Nigerians.
He also commended Kedi, which within six years of operation in Nigeria has given out over 130 cars and houses. Abayae said that Kedi was empowering the people and contributing positively to the economic growth of the country.
Meanwhile, in furtherance of the awareness on the scourge and trend of cancer in Nigeria, NAFDAC has advised the Nigerian farmers and veterinary doctors to use the right chemicals and drugs for production of food and animals respectively.
Orhii, who disclosed this at the Nigerian Medical Association (NiMSA) summit at the Lagos state University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) while delivering his lecture on the control of drugs in relation to cancer, said that NAFDAC was set to work with the farmers especially in the area of food production.
According to him, most farmers were ignorant of the right chemical to use in their food production and, therefore, advised the farmers to ensure that they use the right chemicals for the plantation of food crops and the right drugs for animals.
While revealing that NAFDAC had set up a board to monitor the use of chemicals and drugs by the farmers, Orhii said: “You must have heard our campaign against the use of potassium bromine for making bread, and you must have heard also about programme talking about the regulating chemical industries so that people who no nothing about chemical will not use them because they have the tendencies of causing cancer when consumed.”
He however said that there was a board, which had the responsibility to regulate drugs used by veterinary doctors to prevent the kind of meat people consumed from the Nigeria markets.
Also, the National Director of National Cancer, Patience Osinubi, said that Nigerian should fight cancer by doing some precautions such as eating good food, having daily exercise and going for regular screening.
She said that despite the drugs for cancer treatment, which is highly expensive and with the economic situation of the country, one could still prevent cancer by dong the simple precaution.
Osinubi said that the farmers also have a role to play by producing more food with less sugar than food with too much starch or sugar which can result in diabetes.
The President of Breast Without Spot (BWS), Prof Ifeoma Okoye,who delivered a lecture on the scourge of cancer in Nigeria, noted that agricultural action was required to tackle cancer by reducing the production of sugary foods.
She advised Nigerian to watch the size of their belly and also not to equate delicious food for meal with sugary or sweet.
Okoye called for awareness programme, as about 70 to 80 per cent Nigerians were ignorant about cancer.
She informed that preventing cancer at early stage would save lives, noting that late detection would have accumulated risk.
According to her, such would end up with what is called late case presentation which automatically result to high management, added that “if such case is beyond management it means that the life is in danger.”
She said: “Let’s do simple thing first I think the first thing to do is prevention, that doesn’t cost us a lot of money, with the economic situation of the country, let’s practice simple thing like this prevention.”
Source: Guardian Nigeria