Poisons in Nigeria on DWN HIGHLIGHT | Dialysis World Nigeria - DWN
Poisons in Nigeria on DWN HIGHLIGHT
Date Posted: 01/Jun/2019   Deadline: 01/Jun/2019

There is no better time to discuss poisons law in Nigeria than now. Amidst news on how depressed and non-depressed Nigerians are taking poisons to commit suicide, so also, those consuming poisons without knowing.


What this write-up tends to achieve is to:


1. Serve as a means to educate Nigerians on various legislations on poisons.

2. To enlighten Nigerians on what are poisons/dangerous drugs.

3. To dissect Nigeria’s effort on Implementing various extant poisons laws so far.

4. Profer simple solutions, In other to make headways.


Nenia Campbell (author of fearscape) once said and I quote, ” not all poison was bitter. Some of the deadliest poisons in the world tasted sweet, they were that much more dangerous because of it.”


The Black’s law dictionary (8th edition) defines poison as “In medical jurisprudence. A substance having an Inherent deleterious property which renders it when taken into the system capable of destroying life”.


Looking further at the Dangerous Drugs Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. Section 2 of the dangerous drugs Act, provides sufficient meanings for:


1. Cocaine

2. Diacetylmorphine

3. Ecognine

4. Indian hemp, etc.


In our Nigeria today, poisons are readily available in every nook and cranny of the country, at the pharmacy, roadside, in traffic, hospitals, schools, local market places, even at our various religious centres and neighbourhood.


The code of ethics of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria ensured strict compliance and regulations to the sale of drugs and poisons.


The preamble and paragraph 1 of the code of ethics provides that


1. The Pharmacist’s Council of Nigeria wishes to emphasize that this ‘code of ethics’ is a means of assisting pharmacists to discharge the moral and professional obligations resting upon them to observe standards of conducts appropriate to their calling.


2. The code applies to all registered pharmacists holding licenses, certificates or permits under the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria decree No 91 of 1992, the poison and pharmacy Act, cap 535 of 1990 or any other relevant legislation regulating the handling of drugs and poisons.


Going further to section 1(2) of the code, It provides that “any drug or medicine likely to be abused and which may be detrimental to health should not be supplied to a patient when there is no reason to believe that the drug or medicine is required for such purposes”


Section 4(5) (c) of the code goes further and provides that “A pharmacist should not sell to or purchase drug poisons and medicinal products from unauthorized or Illegal sources.”


The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria has done sufficiently well in regulating professional conducts and sales of poisons among pharmacists and pharmacy shops. So also with the establishment of disciplinary tribunal and investigating panel, who discipline unprofessional conduct (see section 17 and 18 of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria Act).


The main question is: Are poisons only gotten from the pharmacy?


The answer is NO, poisons are of various types, They include foods, drinks, drugs, chemicals, etc. And all these are readily available at our various local market places, in traffic, on the roadsides, even in our streets.


Quoting the NAFDAC Director-General, Moji Adeyeye, of recent “don’t consume puffer fish, it contains deadly poison.” This shows poisons are not just drugs, they can be food also.


The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has also burst several drug cartels and affected several arrests on drugs abuses.


But we still hear news on how Nigerians take poisons to commit suicide or drink and eat poison without knowing.


In my own opinion, the government can do the following:


1. All poisons sellers must be forthwith prohibited from displaying poisons in traffic, by the roadside, this specific act has made poisons easily and readily available for potentials buyers.


2. Strict regulation and ensuring proper compliance with regulations guiding poisons sales. The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria has done sufficiently well to curb its members. What has the government done to curb local poisons sellers?


3. Proper education from government to poisons sellers. The healthcare agency of the government must do a lot to educate the local poisons sellers.


We must take these things serious for us to make headway. If not we would keep hearing news on suicide by poisons and slow poisons that kill slowly.


Source: Qwenu, DWN Africa.


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