The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has reiterated its commitment to ensuring that Nigerians consume wholesome and safe products.
NAFDAC director-general Mojisola Adeyeye, in an interview on Wednesday in Abuja, said the agency had introduced various technological initiatives to ensure a better deal for the citizens.
“The agency uses TrueScan, which is a hand-held device used for on-the-spot detection of counterfeit medicines.
“The device allows regulators and law enforcement agents to conduct field-based screening of pharmaceutical samples to quickly and accurately identify counterfeits,” Ms Adeyeye said.
The NAFDAC boss said there was a need for Nigerians to appreciate the agency’s efforts towards improving food and drug safety.
Ms Adeyeye said the agency had taken measures for the tracing and distributing drugs in the country through a global system that allows screening of barcodes and post-market surveillance (PMS) of products.
PMS refers to monitoring the safety of drugs once they reach the market after the successful completion of clinical trials.
Ms Adeyeye said farmers were also sensitised on using appropriate quantities of pesticide on their products and livestock farmers on antibiotics use.
She said the effect of inappropriate use of pesticides and antibiotics was serious on the health of consumers and the overall status of health of citizens.
The NAFDAC boss added that such uncontrolled use of antibiotics was the cause of outbreaks of drug-resistant diseases.
“Arbitrary use of antibiotics in animals may raise the risk of transmitting drug-resistant bacteria to humans either by direct infection or by transferring “resistance genes from agriculture into human pathogens,” she said.
Ms Adeyeye said the agency was also working assiduously on ensuring quality drugs are made available through its post-market monitoring.
She said stakeholders in the food and pharmaceutical industries had responded positively to its efforts at sanitising the industry.