The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has again warned Nigerians against patronising hawkers of herbal concoctions, saying the they lack storage standards.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, gave the warning during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday.
NAN quoted the NAFDAC boss as saying that any drug being hawked on the streets or in buses should be avoided because of the uncertainty of its source.
“For the liquid herbal concoctions, especially after four or five days, they start growing bacteria.
“Even if the herbal concoction has some medicinal properties, the bacteria will kill the person that is taking it first,” she said.
Adeyeye, however, said some of the herbal medicines work but consumers must ensure that they had passed NAFDAC’s safety and efficacy tests.
“Many of our herbal medicines work but we have to do a lot of research to show how they work, and at what level are we supposed to be taking them so that it will not get to the toxicity level,” she added.
The DG cautioned against the use of performance enhancing drugs because of the danger it poses for many unsuspecting men.
“Many men have died using performance enhancing drugs because if they use them and they have heart problems or have ‘X’ type of ailment, it can easily kill,” she said.
Adeyeye said the agency would continue to use multifaceted approach it adopted, including strengthening of the pharmaceutical industries, to ensure that the citizens are protected from fake, substandard or contaminated foods and drugs.
She added that the agency is working with international partners to ensure Nigeria gets COVID-19 vaccines with long expiration date.
Adeyeye spoke against the backdrop of the one million doses of vaccines that expired in November and were destroyed by NAFDAC, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and the Abuja Environmental Protection Agency.
She said the expired vaccines had very short expiration which made it impossible to be administered in time due to logistics reasons.
She added, “When developed countries started using vaccine for many months, we didn’t have access to them until we started receiving donations, not just through COVAX alone, but from some countries also.
The expiration date was shorter than what it was supposed to be and between the time we tested and start using them, there was no enough time and that was the only reason, not because we were careless.
“But going forward, we are working with international partners to ensure the expiration dates of any vaccine we will be receiving are up to five or six months.”
On the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the DG said studies on the variants was still ongoing globally.
She advised Nigerians to continue to adhere to the safety measures given by the various health authorities to further curb the spread of the virus.
“A lot is still not known about Omicron because studies are still going on globally about the variant.
“The only way to keep safe is to continue with the usage of mask, maintain social distancing, wash our hands regularly and avoid crowded areas to stay safe,” she said.