The Liberia Medical Health, Product and Regulatory Authority (LMHPRA) has warned members of the public falling sick to seek medication in hospitals and clinics instead of going to quacks.
The LMHRA further warns that calling so-called doctors into homes to offer medication could cause more harm to patients and endanger lives.
According to the institution, so-called home doctors are people, who claim to have medical experience, but lack many things in the medical field, noting that self- treatment by citizens also helps to damage their health, because only trained medical doctors, nurses, and health care workers have the expertise to properly diagnose a patient’s case and provide prescriptions.
Addressing a regular press briefing Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism in Monrovia, the Executive Director for the LMHRA, David Sumo, explained that the idea of avoiding self-treatment or calling for home doctors helps to stop buying counterfeit drugs from street venders, adding that counterfeit drugs pollute the health system and cause more damages to citizens.
He said the Act that created the LMHRA gives it powers to regulate and monitor anyone wanting to bring drugs into Liberia to follow the requirement and obtain a quality license before operating drugs business in the country.
He told reporters that any pharmacy or pharmacist caught selling counterfeit drugs to the public will face the full weight of the Law as such drugs hinder the health sector.
The Executive Director pointed out that anyone wishing to operate a medical business must be experienced medical practitioners with license, saying, the lives of citizens are very important; government cannot think about focusing on treating people while others are infecting them with counterfeit drugs.
Director Sumo said the institution will not sit and allow unscrupulous pharmacists and street venders to destroy lives of ordinary citizens.
“Our mandate giving to us by Law is to protect the Liberian public from any harmful effect, to make sure that any drugs coming into the country are safe, of quality, good, and efficient for the use of the people.”
He said the practice of selling counterfeit drugs to people, who don’t know the expiry date as a means of surviving does no good for the country.
According to him, most of the time counterfeit drugs are brought into the country from European countries under the false pretense of donating to Liberia.
He said the only way to eradicate counterfeit drugs from the market is by educating the general public about the danger they pose to public health.
By Lewis S. Teh