Drug Traders Take Over Douala’s Independence Square

Most of the medical products are fake, expired, unaisedly exposed and of doubtful origin.

Drug trading and the prescription of medication by charlatans is an old problem in Douala. The Independence Square in New Bell is today overrun by charlatans who openly sell medical drugs and administer injections.

Apart from selling, they also readily prescribe drugs whose true medical conditions are unknown to patients. Cameroon Tribune met Edith T. at one of several stands, buying drugs for her little daughter at home. In hand she had a FCFA 2,000 note, no prescription or diagnosis by a hospital, but she was buying the drugs as prescribed by the seller. On the next stand, not only were the drugs exposed, the seller was injecting a middle aged man behind a plastic curtain.

These examples and a host of others have had their terrible effects in the past, resulting in the immediate death of a patient who was administered an overdose injection at the Square. Following an all-out war against charlatans, unauthorised drug sale and auto medication, public health authorities in Douala, with the help of security forces, have on several occasions seized and burnt the drugs.

The Douala City Council has, on its part, mustered public security forces and the Municipal Police to seize and dismantle the structures. Barely some weeks after, the activity regained its normal steam at the Independence Square with drug selling going on in the open at junctions and roadsides, as well as the administration of injections as if nothing was wrong with the practice. The square is always busy because people visiting surrounding markets – Marcheacute Central, Marcheacute des Femmes, Marcheacute des Pommes and the Central Post Office – also patronise the drug sellers. That the problem is almost as old as the medical profession itself and directly affects human lives, requires a cool-headed approach.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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