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Health News of Friday, 20 April 2018


Porous borders aiding Tramadol smugglers – FDA

Olivia Agyekumwaa Boateng, Head of Tobacco & Substance Abuse Department at FDA play videoOlivia Agyekumwaa Boateng, Head of Tobacco & Substance Abuse Department at FDA

The Head of Tobacco and Substance Abuse of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Olivia Agyekumwaa Boateng has blamed the increase in Tramadol abuse in the country on our porous borders.

According to her, unauthorised sellers gain access to the drug when smuggled into the country making it accessible for people to purchase the drug.

Speaking at a forum organised by the University of Ghana Consumer Advocacy Group on the theme: “Confronting the new frontier in Ghana’s illicit drug use: the role of consumer education”, Mrs Agyekumwaa Boateng said the required routes for medicines to enter the country is through the Kotoka International Airport and the Tema Harbour.

But although there are required routes, she revealed that drug smugglers find a way of smuggling the medicines into the country through our weak borders making it difficult to clamp down on the abuse of Tramadol amongst the youth.

“Medicines are supposed to come in from just Kotoka International Airport and then Tema Harbour. That’s where medicines are supposed to come in so once you register the product, we ensure that it’s safe for use in our market. Ideally, that’s where it’s supposed to come. But we also have very porous borders which are unmanned, so that’s where we are getting the problem from the illicit supply”, she said.

Mrs. Agyekumwaa Boateng further called for an inter-agency and international collaboration in the area of awareness creation on the high abuse of Tramadol among the public in order to curb the social menace.

Over the weekend, FDA seized a large quantity of Tramadol and other drugs from some chemical shops in the Ashanti Region.

The shops have been selling Tramadol – a synthetic analgesic, in dosages of 120 milligrams (mg) and 225mg, over and above 50mg and 100mg, registered by the FDA to be sold only on prescription by a qualified medical officer.

She, therefore, called for a nationwide public education at educational institutions, marketplaces, beaches and transport terminals confirmed increased and routine abuse of Tramadol and CCS by the youth, students, market women and commercial drivers.

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