By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control ( NAFDAC), has warned the general public that buying drugs from hawkers and fruits ripped with calcium Carbide is a complete aberration and could lead to death.
NAFDAC Director General, Professor, Mojisola Adeyeye, FAS gave the warning last Tuesday in a programme organized by Association of Nigeria Health Journalists titled ” South-East zone NAFDAC Media Sensitization Workshop On Danger of Drug Hawking And Ripening Of Fruits With Calcium Carbides” held at Federal Secretariat Conference Hall, Awka, Anambra State.
She said that buying drugs Hawking and eating fruits ripped with calcium Carbide was dangerous to health and could kill as well, urging media to assist in sensitizing the information to the teeming Nigerians.
According to the Adeyeye in her address presented at the programme and read by Director Chemical Evaluation & Research, Dr. Leonard Omokpariola, he said ‘ There have been Clarion calls by well meaning Nigerians for the needs to take stregent regulatory actions to stop dangerous drug hawking and rippening of fruits with chemicals.’
In addition, several National dailies and non governmental organizations have raised concern and looming danger and health implications of these two neferious activities perpetrated by some unpatriotic and scrupulous individuals in our country”
‘We, in 2019 immediately took decisive steps such as sensitizing the public through different media outlets and enforcement through intelligence and raid of some food Markets that are dotted and mischievously violating the products.
‘So, the flagging off today is a fulfillment of my promise to sustain NAFDAC uplifting collaboration with organization of health journalists in Nigeria towards mobilizing, Educating, sensitizing and conscientizing Nigerians so that they vital role in our efforts to eradicate drugs hawking and rippening of fruits with calcium Carbide” Said Adeyeye
Presenting a paper titled ” Danger of Artificial rippening Fruits With Calcium Carbides”. Dr. Leonard Omokpariola defined ripening of fruits as the process by which fruits attain their charitable flavour and quality colour palatable nature.
He noted that the benefits of naturally ripening fruits were good vitamins and minerals, mentioning vitamins C and other vitamins and warned that selling the fruits riped with calcium Carbides is causing harzard to the innocent Nigerians.
Also the Director ( Investigation & Enforcement), Mr. Francis Ononiwu who was represented by Dr. Mrs. Christiana Esenwah in her paper presentation titled ” The Menace of Drugs Hawking in Nigeria”. She explained that drugs hawking is the illegal act of selling of drugs by unlicensed vendors who move from place to place, carrying drugs and exposes to the vagaries of climate weather.
She mentioned Antibiotics, Narcotics and other drugs as the drugs sold by drugs hawkers, even as she noted that factors contributing to drugs hawking are; easy accessibility, affordable, poor drug distributing system and illiteracy.
Other speakers included; Director of Public Affairs (NAFDAC), Dr. Abubakar Jimoh and President, Association of Health Journalists of Nigeria, Mr. Hassan Zaggi. They stated that it is important for the media to inform the public on inherent danger in drugs hawking and rippening of fruits with calcium Carbides.
They equally said that it is a moral burden to media and various stakeholders to assist NAFDAC in educating people on the danger in drugs hawking and rippening Fruits With Calcium Carbides since NAFDAC would not do it alone.
Dignitaries at the program included; State Director of NDLEA, Mr. Daniel Ogbonna Onyishi, State Director of NYSC, Mrs. Blessing Ekene Iruma among others