In an efforts to eliminate unwholesome drug practices in Nigeria, the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control on Monday in Kaduna embarked on massive enlightenment campaign against drugs
counterfeiting in the country using members of National Youth Service Corps for the campaign.
Besides, the NAFDAC also said that it has formed safety clubs in over 2000 secondary schools across the country where students are being used to campaign against fake drugs as well report any suspicious activities of
drug peddlers in their immediate environment.
NAFDAC’s Director of Special Duties, Abubakar Jimoh at the flag-off of the scheme at the NYSC Orientation Camp in Kaduna, said the need to intensify campaign against fake drugs has become imperative in view of fast
technological development which enable peddlers to print product labels that appeared as original in nature.
He said the NAFDAC/NYSC Community development service scheme which was initiated last year was to consolidate the breakthrough so far recorded by the agency through various international and national collaboration, saying
that the agency was also working with “Nigerian Customs, Nigerian police, Immigration Service, Standard Organization of Nigeria, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.”
This, the NAFDAC chief said was to get rid of drugs out of the country.
According to him, “we are closely working with China, India, United States of America, and also WHO, INTERPOL and other development partners at the international federation to fight drugs counterfeiting because we do
believe that the phenomenon of drugs counterfeiting is not a singular effort; it is the collective responsibility of all members of international community because it is a menace.
” To that extent, all hands must be on deck to fight the phenomenon of drugs counterfeit. So the NAFDAC NYSC scheme is also another ingenious and creative way adopted by NAFDAC to recruit other people in the vanguard of
fight against drugs counterfeits.
“As you aware we already have the NAFDAC consumer safety club in secondary schools, over two thousand secondary schools all over the country. So apart from launching the campaign at the formative level.
” There is also the need to scale it up especially between the youths who are the leaders of tomorrow, and particularly the NYSC who have abundant energy that they are looking for where to dissipate them. So to that
extent, we urge them to channel this energy into helping NAFDAC in campaign against drugs counterfeiting and unregulatory products at the grass root level where we cannot reach.
“We know that even identification of counterfeit drugs now from the original is apparently difficult because of sophistication in printing technology over the years.Even the manufacturers of the products cannot identify counterfeit from the original because it is exactly the same, almost 100 percent the same.
“So educating the people through the NYSC is what we decided to do, training the trainers kind of programme. We do realize that it is better to educate the people from the point of knowledge than from point of ignorance.