By Osaigbovo Iguobaro Benin
The National Agency for Food and Drug and Administration Control (NAFDAC) on Tuesday listed Nigeria among the countries of the world with the highest use of Tramadol drug.
Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Christianah Adeyeye disclosed this at a symposium on the “Problems of Drug/Substance Abuse organized by the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in Edo state.
The NAFDAC boss who was represented by Edo State Coordinator of the agency, Pharm. Esther Itua, expressed concern that statistics have shown that “there are signs of expansion of market for Tramadol in Nigeria”.
She said “lack of data on widespread use of tramadol, in 2017 expert Committee on Drug dependence of the World Health organisation”.
Continuing, “WHO requested for information on the extent problems associated with Tramadol misuse to enable critical review of the dangers associated with the abuse of Tramadol worldwide.
“Available information has shown Nigeria as one of the Countries in the world with the highest use of Tramadol relative to our population”, she said.
Adeyeye, called for security-tightened borders in order to checkmate influx of unregistered pharmaceutical products into the country and ensure strict adherence provisions made for drug prescription.
This was just as the agency said all land borders including Onne and Tincan Island Ports remain shut as entry points for pharmaceuticals.
Adeyeye also blamed abuse of hard drug among youths to lack of due diligence to ensure the integrity of the distribution chain which according to her, has led to illicit channels and to traders with little or no knowledge of the public health consequences of codeine containing products.
She lamented reports of clearance of drugs at unapproved entry points adding: “The concealment and importation into the country remain complicated and poses a serious challenge for effective control”.
She however lauded the “improved collaboration and information sharing amongst regulatory and enforcement agencies” in its recent seizure of large amount of tramadol destined for illicit markets from the Onne port.
Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Faraday Orumwense who was represented by the DVC Prof. Pius Iribhogbe, said there is urgent need to address drug abuse in campuses adding that “life is all about human beings and their existence.
According to him, “the more we come together to exchange ideas, break new grounds on a campaign against this life threatening menace , the better we shall be.”