The Ebonyi Government has totally banned the sale of tramadol and codeine-containing products in chemists, pharmacies and other health facilities in the state.
Dr Sunday Nwangele, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Gov. David Umahi on Health Services, announced this in Abakaliki while briefing newsmen after the State Executive Council (EXCO) meeting.
Nwangele who said that the ban took immediate effect, added that restriction has also been placed on the sale of antibiotics and analgesics Over The Counter (OTC) in these health outlets.
“Henceforth, issuance of antibiotics and analgesics will be strictly on doctor’s prescription as this directive will be adequately monitored,” he said.
“OTC drugs are not affected by the restriction as is obtained in the country, African continent and other parts of the world.
“The OTC drugs such as paracetamol, minimal dosage of Ibuprofen, aspirin, among others, are basic analgesics and drugs used to treat fever but we are talking of serious analgesics.
“These analgesics are orally administered, injected into the muscles or veins and can also be steroidal or non-steroidal.
“This is the area doctor’s prescription comes in because such drugs such as tramadol are greatly abused and they reflect in the brain.
“The state government is aware of the devastating effects of these drugs especially on the youths which have led to increase in crime and other social vices,” he said.
He said that the government also regretted the failure of Ebonyi indigenes to pass the medical screening of various security and paramilitary outfits, during job recruitment.
“We discovered that they fail because they test positive to hepatitis B surface-antigens, as the government will soon commence public screening over the issue.
“The date of the screening will soon be announced but our people especially youths are advised to conduct individual screening to ascertain their hepatitis B surface-antigens status.
“This will enable us effectively manage those already afflicted by the disease and properly prepare those who test negative, to undergo the outfits’ screening,” he said.
Nwangele further said that the government has also declared war on adulterated kerosene and other petroleum products across the state by placing total ban on their sales.
“The government, however, sympathises with the family which lost its dear ones at Ezza South Local Government Area due to kerosene explosion.
“The governor further directs his special assistant on petroleum pricing and distribution to liaise with relevant security agencies and petroleum products-dealers in the state to enforce the directive.
“The government will deal decisively with individuals or groups who sell tramadol and codeine-containing products, flout the restriction on sale of antibiotics and analgesics and sell adulterated petroleum products.
“The committee set up to check the sale of fake drugs and other substandard products are working assiduously with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
“It is our desire that the committee and these agencies work together to achieve a total stoppage to the sale and usage of fake products in the state,’’ he said.