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Drugs in Africa (3)

30 January, 2020

Dear Massimo,

Like you we have been very worried that quacks and uncontrolled / unregulated herbalists parade as alternative practitioners of medicine are free to invade every nook and cranny of African countries offering portions that 'cure' all ailments known and unknown (spiritual and supernatural) to desperate patients and families, infact whole communities. Only when the users of these unrefined herbs cause complex complications are the patients rushed to hospital so that they die there. Even countries like Nigeria that agencies like NAFDAC (National Agency for the Control of Drugs and Alcohol) seem unable to stop the importation or smuggling of these deadly poisons. And even when these quacks are everywhere selling their poisons in the open, on public transport, in the print and electronic media, no one stops or challenges them. I can assure you that in Nigeria at least it is not for lack of HIFA members raising alarm and contacting the authorities. It is just that in LMICs generally it appears that not many people care!! Sad!!!.

But we cant stop. 'Aluta continua' it is for some of us until some authority / relevant authority listens and takes action.

Joseph Ana.

HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: www.hriwestafrica.com Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers.



Email: jneana AT yahoo.co.uk