NIA warns about chinese drugs wade from human flesh - SyCtRenDs



Monday, October 29, 2018

NIA warns about chinese drugs wade from human flesh

The National Intelligence Agency [NIA] recently raised alarm over some Chinese drugs allegedly made from human flesh. Based on a report it said it received from the  South Korean Customs Service, NIA put the Standard Organisation of Nigeria [SON], National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control [NAFDAC] and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on red alert.

NIA quoted the South Korean Customs Service as saying it seized 2,751 Chinese drugs/capsules containing remains of human foetus, infants and flesh that were imported into that country by some Chinese nationals. “The manufacturers claim that the drugs/capsules can boost stamina, cure cancer, diabetes and some other terminal diseases. The capsules were smuggled in suitcases and through international mail.” Investigations revealed that the drugs were made in north eastern China from babies whose bodies were chopped into small pieces and dried on stoves before being turned into powder. “The South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety indicated that 18.7 billion viruses, including hepatitis B were found in the capsules,” part of the memo stated.

NAFDAC thereafter commenced investigation into the matter and deployed a surveillance team to comb ports and markets for the drugs. NAFDAC Director-General Prof. Moji Adeyeye said, “The Pharmacovigilance and Post-Marketing Directorate has also been alerted to conduct surveillance in our markets. The Registration and Regulatory Affairs Directorate is also on the lookout.” Adeyeye said she had contacted her South Korean counterpart over the matter. The  House of Representatives also called for an investigation last Wednesday following a motion brought by Rep. Johnson Agbonayinma under matters of urgent public importance. The lawmaker said making drugs out of human remains is a crime against humanity and could lead to serious health challenges.

Initially, not many people took this issue seriously because of the manner by which the story broke. The NIA memo was leaked on social media and could not be immediately authenticated. However, the statements made and actions taken so far show that the memo indeed emanated from NIA and that it is a matter that should be taken seriously. We commend NIA for promptly alerting the relevant agencies.

Fears have however grown following the alert’s authentication and steps must be taken to reassure the public. All groups investigating the matter should move quickly and the result should be made public. It is good that NAFDAC personnel are already combing the markets but they should ensure that they go to all nooks and crannies and check all pharmaceutical stores, especially in rural areas where the opportunity for abuse is much higher. If these drugs are already in the country, they should be pulled off the shelves immediately and if not, checks at ports and borders should be beefed up.

It is a sad commentary that as a country, we import virtually everything. This situation has made us vulnerable to criminals who take advantage of the situation.  Even where we have to import drugs, they must meet certain specifications and the distribution channel must be such that the products cannot be compromised.  The federal government should work towards implementing the National Drug Policy and the National Drugs Distribution Guidelines. Also, a lot of substandard goods that cannot get into other countries find their way into Nigeria due to corrupt practices of officials of agencies that are supposed to stop them, but this has direct impact on human lives and cannot be treated with levity.

Personnel at the ports and borders should carry out their duties with patriotism and stop items like this from getting into the country. When the outcome of the investigations is made known, all those involved including importers and their collaborators should be appropriately sanctioned to serve as deterrent to others. The government should also have a word with the country of origin. NAFDAC and Ministry of Health should embark on massive sensitisation of the public on the need to consult qualified medical personnel before consuming any suspect drugs.

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