The Abia State Office of the National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has warned Modern Traditional Medicine Practitioners of Nigeria (MTMPN) to desist from giving people poison, because their products are not packaged.
Dr Ejike Nnamani,, Coordinator of NAFDAC in the State, gave the warning in Aba on Monday, during a one-day workshop organized by the agency to educate MTMPN members on best manufacturing practices.
Nnamani said that any practitioner who gives people poisonous products, because it is not packaged or labelled, would still be punished, when reported and traced by the agency.
The NAFDAC Coordinator told the members of MTMPN in Aba that the one-day workshop was to enable them know how to operate safely in their practice and for the good of their customers.
According to him, “NAFDAC does not regulate things that are not packaged and labelled but that your product is not packaged and labelled does not exonerate you from punishment, when they cause damage and you are reported to us.”
Nnamani said that it was important for NAFDAC to inform the MTMPN members of what is expected of them in their practice, to be acceptable globally and to enable them to meet the agency’s product registration requirements.
The Coordinator noted that the agency had given members of MTMPN till January 2024 to register their products and upgrade their practice in line with the NAFDAC rules, in order not to be punished.
Nnamani said he has given them the grace period not as authority to go and do what is against good practices, but to prepare them to operate at a global standard level.
He charged the traditional medicine practitioners to imbibe the tenets of good practices in medicine production, to make their customers safe, which he said should be paramount in their business.
Nnamani added that he was ready to help them register their products and observe the rules, but said that they must show that they are ready to do the right things.
Dr Azubuike Anyatonwu, the Chairman of MTMPN earlier said that the organization was coming together to ensure they developed themselves and not for the sake of taxing them.
Anyatonwu said that the time had passed when practitioners would hide to produce their drugs stressing that the members should work together to develop the practice.
The Chairman urged members who have not registered their products with NAFDAC to use the opportunity of the workshop to do due diligence and to make their drugs available and acceptable.
He said that registering their products would enable them to access the government’s help now that the government had placed them and recognized them under the Federal Ministry of Health.
A traditional ruler, Eze Paul Uzuegbu, Achuga II of Okahiauga Nkwoegwu Autonomous Community in Umuahia North Local Government Area, who said he started herbal medicine production at age eight, said the bringing together of the practitioners was good for the health sector.
Eze Uzuegbu said Nigeria has the best organic herbs that could solve many health problems, which should be developed for the good of its people and urged the government to support modern traditional medicine practice.
He said, “We need a common facility for organic medicine manufacturers, and we also need drug processing equipment to enable us to compete with China, India, and other parts of the world.
“We also need equipment at the Federal Government Domestic Export Warehouse in Umuahia, to preserve our products for export and we are ready to pay and to comply with the rules”, he said.
SOURCE: New Telegraph