Controlling fake veterinary drugs
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CTA. 2003. Controlling fake veterinary drugs. Rural Radio Resource Pack 03/03. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57446
A senior veterinary research officer describes the need for regulation in the sales of veterinary drugs, to prevent sales of fake, out-or-date or adulterated drugs, and a recent initiative being undertaken in Nigeria to achieve this.
Cue: While livestock farmers should make every effort to stop their animals becoming sick, some illness is inevitable. In such cases, the only cure may be a drug that the farmer will have to buy. Sometimes however, the veterinary drugs that are available for sale may do more harm than good. In Nigeria for example, many of the drugs that are sold are fake, or else are too old and are no longer effective. Such drugs cost farmers large amounts of money, but do nothing for their livestock. To address this problem, the Nigerian government recently authorised the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control, known as NAFDAC, to regulate those who sell veterinary drugs, something which has not been done in the past. Tunde Fatunde spoke to Dr Jerry Abenga, a senior veterinary research officer from Kaduna State, about the problems of controlling the supply of veterinary drugs in the country, and the progress made by NAFDAC. He began by asking Dr Abenga to explain the problem of unregulated veterinary drugs in Nigeria. IN: ?Because there is no regulation? OUT: ?so that these drugs are identified.? DUR?N 4?00? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Dr Jerry Abenga emphasising the need for collaboration in the battle against fake veterinary drugs in Nigeria. Transcript Abenga Because there is no regulation on who sells veterinary drugs, there has been a lot of importation of drugs that have been found to be fake. Fatunde For example? Abenga There are several antibiotics, particularly the tetracyclines, that many of them don?t have the necessary chemicals to cure diseases. And also a lot of drugs meant for the control of ecto-parasites, many of them have no effect on animals. Fatunde What do you mean by ?ecto-parasites?? Abenga Ticks, flies and other parasites that infest the body of animals. Fatunde Now these drugs are they adulterated or are they expired or is it that they are not adapted to the specific species of animals we have in Nigeria? Abenga Many of the drugs because they are not properly regulated, many of them are expired, some because of the keeping quality. We are in a tropical environment and some of these drugs are exposed to the heat of the sun and as a result there is degeneration. And these drugs, many of them they don?t have effect to cure disease anymore. Fatunde What are the peculiar problems being faced by farmers when they buy these drugs and the animals that have been affected? Abenga Some of these drugs are toxic, some cause decay at the point of injection, some even cause abortion. Also these drugs because they don?t cure, the animal dies of infection. So you find out that the farmer spends so much money buying the drug and the animal still dies. So he lost his money in buying of drugs and his animals also die. Fatunde How do they know that these drugs are adulterated? What are the processes? Abenga When a vet buys a drug and treats an animal and the animal does not improve then it?s a clear sign that the drug is probably not containing the necessary chemicals to cure the infection. And when that is established, further confirmation is done in the laboratory. And there are some companies doing chemical analysis of these drugs. And because of this some drugs have been found not to contain, sometimes even nothing that could cure disease. Fatunde How is the government tackling these problems? Abenga For many years this area has been neglected by the government. But looking at the affect of animal disease on our economy, the federal government through the agency of NAFDAC, that is National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control, they have now stepped in to look at the shelves of shop owners that sell veterinary drugs, who want to look for their license and to analyse these drugs, to make sure that even veterinary drugs come under their control. Fatunde What is your own assessment so far on the work being done by NAFDAC? Abenga Well NAFDAC has just stepped in to control veterinary drugs and we are still waiting to see the impact of their activity. As of now fake veterinary drugs are still being sold in several parts of the country. Fatunde Is there going to be a collaborative work between NAFDAC, farmers and veterinary institutes in Nigeria with a view to tackling this problem? Abenga Yes NAFDAC cannot succeed in the war against fake veterinary drugs alone. There needs to be collaboration with the other research institutes like Nigerian Veterinary Research Institute and several universities who have faculties of veterinary medicine so that these drugs are identified. End of track.