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Health News of Friday, 20 April 2018


Stop buying drugs from peddlers – FDA warns Ghanaians

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

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in a move to curb the abuse of drugs in the country has issued a stern warning to Ghanaians to stop buying medicines from unauthorised people as that can put their health at risk.

The call by the FDA follows series of reports on the abuse of Tramadol in the country where its daily intake has increased tremendously among the youth.

Tramadol is a synthetic narcotic analgesic or pain reliever prescribed to patients suffering from moderate to severe pain. Experts explain that the drug attaches itself to the brain’s pain receptors and blocks the sensation of pain. It also functions like heroin and can cause psychotic problems as well as damage vital organs in the human body if abused.

However, the abuse of the drug is on the rise especially among the youth who rely on the product to enhance their sexual drive, prolong ejaculation and enhance performance. In some cases students, market women and drivers also use that to boost their energy so they work effectively.

Findings have shown that Tramadol abuse has killed more people than heroin and cocaine.

Speaking at 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”, the Head of Tobacco and Substance Abuse Department at the Food and Drugs Authority, Olivia Agyekumwaa Boateng said it is about time Ghanaians change their old ways of buying medicines from peddlers in cars, by the roadsides or market.

According to her, taking drugs without recommendations by a health personnel possess serious threats to the human body especially when they are not taken for its intended purpose.

Marvelled at why some people choose to buy from peddlers, Mrs. Agyekumwaa Boateng said: “I’m just wondering why people will buy from the peddlers, I keep wondering....... anytime we arrest them they cannot speak and write, they do not have any basic education but you will find us patronising their products”.

She added that “medicines are not like regular tomatoes, they are very dangerous when you do not use them the way it is intended to be used. Don’t buy from them. Medicines are products that you need to get from experts. Insist on a seeing a pharmacist when you go to the pharmacy”.

She further revealed that FDA will join forces with a number of sector agencies like the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and the Ghana Police Service to curb the illegal entry, distribution and sale of Tramadol in the country as people are speedily abusing the drug.

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