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Opinions Mon, 22 Sep 2014

Ban the sale of drugs on buses now!

It is disheartening, when I board a trotro/ "troski" and notice people selling medicine in the bus. I ask myself, is this really the business of the day? These are things that go through my mind when I come across these people.

I had the opportunity to interview one man who was active in the business as to where they get the medicine and how the medicine is prepared. His responses were as follows: “we buy the medicine from a pharmacy in Accra and prepare the rest in our homes. Our home simply because I was trained by my father, it is the fastest way of learning because people always fall sick", he added.

I wonder why these medicines are used to cure so many diseases. Customers are not being examined before medicine is given. As soon as one is able to describe his or her symptoms, the medicine is delivered. I wonder if they are junior doctors or nurses. I strongly believe the Ministry of Health should work against these malpractices in the country.

On my way to Korle-bu, immediately I sat in the bus, a gentleman stood up advertising medicine in the car. He brought out different kinds of medicines.

90% of passengers purchased these medicines without prescription. A gentleman also stood up advertising another medicine in that same car. He brought out a bottle containing a yellowish fluid and described the medicine as “amen which means an end to the sickness".

He further explained that the medicine can cure so many diseases such as typhoid, malaria, jaundice, headaches, tuberculosis and "even AIDS".

The passengers bought all these medicines again without prescription from the seller. A lady decided to take the medication she had just bought and unfortunately for her it was honey. She screamed: “thief give me back my money”, upon which made the rest of the passengers in the car try theirs to verify if it was also honey.

They beat the man mercilessly until he alighted and ran away. I asked myself these questions: who is to be blamed? whose responsibility is it to stop all these activities? if these medicines were poison, they would have been dead.

Government must set up institutions to train people interested in selling drugs. Patients must purchase all medicines with prescription forms. Drivers should disapprove any act of buying and selling in buses.

Government must indeed put things in order to help the country grow.
Columnist: Linda Abrefi Wadie