Coronavirus may cause drug insecurity in Nigeria, NAFDAC raises alarm

Coronavirus may cause drug insecurity in Nigeria, NAFDAC raises alarm

NEWS DIGEST–The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, on Monday, said the outbreak of coronavirus in China was creating drug insecurity in Nigeria since the country depended on China and other countries for the importation of active and non-active ingredients and medicines.

Speaking at an event held ahead of the African Medicine Quality Forum, which will hold between February 24 and 28 in Abuja, the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, also warned Nigerians to desist from the use of paracetamol to cook beef and bleach to soak cassava meant for the production of fufu.

She said, “Seventy per cent of our drugs are imported and the alarm I am sounding now is one everybody should take seriously. We have drug insecurity because of the coronavirus.

“India is already feeling it because they buy most of their materials and active ingredients from China. If India is feeling it, we should start praying because we don’t manufacture anything here except water. We import almost everything, active and non-active ingredients, equipment and so on.

“So it is a scary thing and I have been emphasising this from day one. We need drug security. Since we import 70 per cent of our drugs, then, we are in trouble if such things happen.”

She said the agency was aware of the deadly practice of using paracetamol and bleach to prepare food items and warned that the former had the capacity to damage the kidney.

She added, “When paracetamol is subjected to heat while cooking with it, it changes to para-aminophenol and benzoquine, which destroy the kidneys. We have done a lot of enlightenment because the major problem of our people is ignorance and illiteracy.”