Avoidable loss: Essential need to regulate local herbal mixtures

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Accounts of several lives that have been lost to self medications and in take of local herbs  are increasingly becoming a troubling menace leading to untimely death of many. The seeming apathy of the government to address the horror as a matter of urgent concern is making matters worst. News of the sudden death of one Mutiu Adekunle, who died in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, after drinking a herbal mixture went viral earlier this week.

It was gathered that Adekunle had met his untimely death in a hospital where he was rushed to, having developed complications after drinking a herbal mixture given to him by one Alfa Nureni Suleiman. It was reported that the deceased and another victim, Opeyemi Olayiwola, who survived the complication were given the herbal mixture by Suleiman. Both men had developed complications after drinking the said mixture,  and were rushed to a private hospital in the Ijetu area of Osogbo where Adekunle gave up the ghost at the hospital with his counterpart responding to treatment.

Following the sad development, the prime suspect was arrested by the Police. The Osun State Police Command on Monday said it had commenced investigations into the circumstances surrounding the death of the victim. All this notwithstanding, the loss is done. The reactional mode of operation of  Nigerian Government at all levels on almost all issues have by and large been exposing the Country to grave risk. As far as the Government continue to wait until when things get out of hand before taking action, the Country will continue to draw backwards.

The time for the Government to rise up and address avoidable losses from unregulated herbal medications is now. Government at various level should be sensitive to possible economic and social losses accruing from incapacitation of lives from avoidable causes such as sales and intake of herbal medication.

Reality reveals that the sales of herbal mixture are practically without measures and prescriptions, which exposes the lives of larger Nigerians who patronise herbal medicines to risk. It is high time the Government begin to attach proper importance to human life. The death of just one adult creates huge economic, emotional and social losses. It is a contributor to poverty. A family that loses a bread winner has practically been  exposed to the risk of poverty and hardship. The Government should come up with policy measures to regulate the sales and consumption of herbal medicines. Just as the consumption of alcohol is regulated and  prohibited in some State’s, it is high time the Government at various levels begin to regulate the consumption of herbal mixtures. The government should further ensure strict standards are employed to grant licence to producers of herbal medicines whose products have been tested to be healthy for intake with prescriptions on the right dosages.

The Government should as a matter of fact declare a ban on unlicensed roadside herbal mixture dealers to play safer on people’s health. As a matter of urgent attention, it is also paramount that the Government pay concerted attention to developing the structures and standards of orthodox medical operations across the Country to make it cheaper and readily available. Primary healthcare which has been suffering from intense decadence should be revamped to bringer orthodox healthcare closer to the people; thereby building their confidence in it and deterring them from patronising and resorting to unregulated herbal and self medications.