EDITORIAL: Protecting Health For Wealth Creation
5/9/2012 11:17:38 PM -
The sale and distribution of all kinds of substances and products purporting to provide solutions to various ailments are on the ascendancy.
If those products are not sex-enhancing, then they are purported to prevent certain ailments. As vulnerable as we are, many of our compatriots have fallen victim to such deceitful advertisements or inducements by buying those products.
Within the last couple of days, the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) and the police have made arrests and impounded some of these dubious products from their manufacturers and the markets. There are reports of a large number of young persons seeking medical attention at urology centres in our hospitals as a result of problems emanating from the abuse of sex-enhancing drugs.
These are, indeed, worrying times for our country.
It seems that the opening up of our markets as a result of trade liberalisation and commercialisation has also compounded our situation. We are not condemning liberalisation, but unbridled liberalisation gives room for turning our markets into a dumping ground, while some local products do not meet the standards.
There are rules and regulations guiding the manufacture, importation and distribution of medical products in the country. Either because of laxity or complicity on the part of our port officials, some of these products are brought into the country without detention for further investigations.
We believe that continuous public education on the dangers of such illicit products and the fact that some ailments do no lend themselves to the prescriptions of these so-called producers will help make the people alert.
While exploiting the vulnerability of our people, especially those in the rural areas, these importers and manufacturers have always succeeded in not only ripping our nationals of hard-earned money but also exposing them to other health risks.
What is even more painful is the ingenuity of our own ilk to exploit the people for their selfish gain.
The Daily Graphic believes that most of our regulatory agencies, particularly the FDB and the Ghana Standards Authority, need to be adequately resourced to carry out their mandate. This is where we expect Ghanaians to rise up to the challenge to support those agencies to deal with the nefarious activities of these nation wreckers.
The Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service did a yeoman’s job by identifying some distributors and the main manufacturer of “Atemuda”, a local gin laced with cannabis.The police were successful as a result of the intelligence reports they had. It is such co-operation and support that we expect from our people in our efforts at eliminating the bad lots from our society.
We also believe that the high incidence of such cases may suggest that either the sanctions attached to the offences are not punitive enough or the regulatory agencies often abandon the cases after the initial press hype.
Whatever the challenges, we believe the authorities must see the fight through to its logical conclusion. And just as they make much noise with the arrests, so must they let the public also know the outcome of their investigations.
The future belongs to our youth and we cannot continue to expose them to such health hazards, for, after all, good health is wealth.
The time to walk the talk is now.