The Cross River State government, weekend, sacked a traditional medicine trade fair taking place at the Cultural Centre grounds in Calabar, the state capital.
The anti-quackery team from the state’s Ministry of Health, which stormed the venue of the fair, said no permission was sought by the organisers.
They said the fair is illegal and called for a stop to the activities of herbalists present at the fair.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, disclosed that the excesses and unethical practices by herbal medicine practitioners who claim “one drug cures all ailments”, is illegal and unacceptable.
“The state Ministry of Health is statutorily mandated to regulate and control these illegalities in conjunction with other relevant government agencies such as NAFDAC, and that is what we are doing,” Edu said.
The Commissioner added that herbal products must be evaluated by the approved authorities before they can be sold.
She directed traditional medicine vendors to comply with the directives of the state government and relevant agencies by getting registered and given appropriate certificates before advertising their products.
She warned that “such products must undergo mandatory laboratory evaluation by the Cross River State Government before approval.
“Government is ever willing to strengthen the health system in its mandate of safeguarding public health.”
Speaking further, Dr. Edu stated that “We’re not ignorant of the fact that some persons have decided to indulge in quackery, claiming to cure all illnesses with a certain concoction.
“These are people who are practicing without licence and some are not even medically inclined.
“It is therefore necessary for the safety of all residents of the state that a task force continue to comb the state and fish out these people and, so far, the result has been encouraging.”
She advised people not to buy or patronise anyone who walks round the streets claiming to have cure for typhoid, malaria, cholera, dysentery and even HIV/AIDS with the said cure coming from a particular drug or concoction.
Task force destroys fair camps
Mea while, the task force is led by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr Ushie David.
They discovered and destroyed the illegal camps set up by unlicensed trado-medical trade fair organisers who arrived the state and set up tents at the Cultural Centre, Calabar on January 17.