The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has confiscated and destroyed over N1.7 trillion worth of tramadol containers in the last five years.
Director General of the agency, Prof Moji Adeyeye stated this on Wednesday while briefing newsmen in Abuja.
She said the agency is also putting appropriate measures in place to prevent the entry of the four harmful cold and cough syrups linked with acute kidney injuries and 66 deaths among children in the Gambia, and other spurious products at the various ports of entry.
She said it has also activated internal surveillance mechanisms to mop up these products from the supply chain pipeline if they are ever found.
Prof. Adeyeye said before 2018 the country was suffering from the preponderance of tramadol in circulation, adding that during the last raid, the agency destroyed N 1.3 billion naira worth of counterfeit and falsified medicines.
While lamenting that 70 percent of the country’s medicine is imported, she said increased efforts by the agency in China and India revealed that some laboratories that claimed to test before shipping don’t even have the equipment.
“So we signed an agreement with the laboratories, with the CIR agents, and since that time, we have stopped over 85 to 90 shipments,” she said.
The NAFDAC boss said the manufacturer of the four harmful products identified in the Gambia is Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited (Haryana, India) while the four products are Promethazine oral solution, Kofexmalin baby cough syrup, Makoff baby cough syrup, and Magrip N cold syrup.
She said members of the public in possession of them are advised to discontinue sale or use and submit stock to the nearest NAFDAC office. In a related development, the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), has inducted 178 graduates of medicine and dentistry from foreign institutions.
Speaking during the induction ceremony at the council’s headquarters in Abuja Wednesday, the Chairman of the governing board of the council, Professor Abba Waziri Hassan, said 647 Medical and Dental graduates appeared for the June 2022 examination, and out of this number, 172 medical graduates (26.5 percent) and six (0.93 percent ) dental graduates passed. He said this gives a total of 178 successful candidates with an overall percentage pass of 27.5 percent.
He said, “We appreciate that as long as there are inadequate vacancies to absorb qualified candidates in our medical and dental colleges, some have to go abroad for medical and dental training. This is why MDCN continues to encourage federal and state governments and philanthropists to invest more in the establishment of medical schools.”
He said while efforts were being made by MDCN and the Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC) to increase the carrying capacities of the existing medical schools and encourage the opening of new ones, parents/guardians and state governments should be cautious as to which countries to send wards for medical and dental training.
“You should develop a good understanding with your colleagues, seniors, and other health professionals that you will work within the overall interest of your patients. The oath you are going to take should be the watchword of your practice for life,” he advised.