Ministry Of Health Gets Tough With Fake Herbal Drugs

AS PART of moves to sanitize the herbal industry and rid the country of quack dealers, the Traditional Medicine Practice Council (TMPC), under the Ministry of Health, has seized a quantity of unlicensed herbal products in Kumasi.

About 50 suspects, including sellers and manufacturers, were also rounded up during a joint operation organized by the Council with support from the Visibility Unit of the Ghana Police Service.

The suspects were picked up at various hideouts and also on the markets, whilst selling these fake and unlicensed products to consumers, during the three day operation which commenced last week Wednesday.

Amongst the range of products which were seized by the team include sexual performance enhancement drugs imported from China and India, drugs for healing diseases like Hypertension, Gonorrhea, AIDS and other diseases.

Some traditional healers, Faith Camp Operators, traditional circumcisers, locally known as Wamzams, were also arrested during the operation.

The Regulatory Assistant at the Traditional Medicine Practice Council, Prophetess Mabel Adu-Gyamfi, who led the operation, said the Council was operating in line with the Traditional Medicine Practice Act 575, 2000 which gives the Council the power to arrest, prosecute or fine persons or groups engaged in manufacturing or selling of fake herbal drugs. 

She said the some of the suspects would be made to face the full rigorous of the law whilst others were also charged with penalty for failing to register their products.

According to her, offenders are usually fined a penalty of GH¢1, 000 minimum or two years imprisonment and in some extreme cases both.

Prophetess Adu-Gyamfi said the menace of fake herbal products was a source of worry to the Ministry of Health as it has the tendency to cause serious health complications to people who use them. 

According to her, dealers of such products usually capitalize on the desperation and ignorance of people seeking for medical assistance and usually succeed in convincing them to use these fake products.

‘It is worrying trends because some of these products are not usually certified by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), some of them too do not even have basic information like the right prescription and dosages,’ she lamented.

Prophetess Adu-Gyamfi, however, indicated that the Council is also embarking on other proactive measures, including organizing training and re-training workshops for practitioners.

Pix: Prophetess Mable Adu-Gyamfi with samples of the seized products


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