Worried by the attendant effect of unchecked drugs on consumers the Herbs Sellers Association of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to ban the practice of hawking ‘Agbo’ (cooked herbs) on the streets to save people’s lives.
The organisation at a media roundtable on Wednesday in Lagos the association identified unregistered herbs hawkers on the streets as the major challenge facing traditional medical practice in the country.
The event put together by Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA) focused on the dangers associated with the use of herbal medicines. According to one of the participants, the Financial Secretary of ‘Elewe Omo Herbs Sellers Association of Nigeria, Mrs Modinat Onike, said it is a wrong practice to hawk cooked herbs on the street.
She said ‘’this use of unregistered herbs hawkers who are fond of administering wrong dosage and usage to innocent buyers who patronize them’’ will endanger people’s lives.
“We the registered herb sellers are more trained than the herbs hawkers; they are not supposed to sell cooked herbs according to the practice: “We don’t cook the ‘agbo’ (herbs), we rather give the raw herbs and roots to our clients with instructions on usage and preparation. “We call on the Federal Government to step into this matter as soon as possible, and stop the practice of hawking cooked herbs to save people’s lives, they have no knowledge of what they are selling,” Onike said. also calling on the general public to desist from patronizing those hawking herbs on the streets and engage the proper herbs sellers for all their herbal medicines for safety.
Earlier in his speech at the event the Director General of NNMDA, Dr Sam Etatuvie, called for more awareness and education on proper use of herbal medicines to reduce the dangers of drug abuse, especially amongst youths.
He said that about four billion people out of the estimated global population of 6.3 billion patronized the use of plants to meet their primary health care needs. “We believe that the media can create awareness to educate and inform the public about the dangers associated with the manner of use of herbal medicine.
“This will go a long way to draw public attention to drug herbal interaction and reduce the rate of youth’s involvement in irrational use of herbal medicine. “As an agency under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, NNMDA’s mandate includes research, development, promotion, documentation and education on the practice, product and technologies of natural medicine in Nigeria, with a view to facilitating its integration into healthcare delivery system.