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Basotho warned on street medicines


Limpho Sello

THE Pharmaceutical Society of Lesotho (PSL) says the public is endangering their health and lives by purchasing unregulated medicines sold on the streets.

PSL Secretary, Mapoloko Letša recently told the Sunday Express that the country’s lax laws on drugs, Basotho had become reliant on street medicines ahead of clinically tested medication prescribed by health professionals.

Ms Letša said as a result, some vendors were selling untested medicines claiming these could cure several illness such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS and hypertension.

“You see people selling mixtures of herbs,” Ms Letša said, adding, “their medicines are not clinically proven to cure those diseases they claim to cure,” Ms Letša said.

Ms Letša said some traditional medicines could cure common colds and headaches but people tended to exaggerate their efficacy, claiming they could cure other diseases too.

She said some unscrupulous individuals were even drugs for illegal abortions which was dangerous as they were not even experts.

She said proper procedures including clinical tests had to be conducted to ensure the safety and efficacy of medicines before they were sold to the public.

She said medicines were first tested on animals before being tested on humans to determine their effects and side effects.

“However, with many of the streets medicines tests are not done. We even need to know whether the containers are safe for bottling such medicines,” Ms Letša said.

“Because of lack of laws and policies that prohibit anyone from coming up with their own medication or selling medicines, we come across challenges of society making uninformed decisions when it comes to their health,” Ms Letša said, adding they would hold a seminar in Quthing on Saturday in collaboration with the Ministry of Health to sensitise the public about the dangers of street medicines.

“What we are aiming at through this seminar (under the theme Street medicines and maternal health) is to ensure that people are informed and educated when it comes to medication.

“If we want to achieve zero deaths of children and women by 2030 then we need to have the informed community that will make informed decisions,” Ms Letša said.

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