The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has cracked down on manufacturers of a herbal intoxicant, popularly known as ‘Kurkura’; herbal aphrodisiacs, and alcoholic bitters in the country.
This is following a series of reports on the use of ‘Kurkura’, particularly in the South-West and Northern regions of the country.
The Director-General, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, who made this known at a press briefing held in Abuja on Friday, said findings revealed a dangerous trend in the use of such substances laced with high concentrations of tobacco and cannabis.
According to her, the ‘Kurkura’ herbal preparations discovered in circulations included “Five Minutes Power Herbs Medicine, Haonu Laha Herbal Mixture, Gamzaki Tradomedical Herbal Ventures, Barakallahu Multipurpose Herbal Mixture, and Sabon Karfi Herbal Mixture.”
She said, while Haonu Laha Herbal Mixture was registered with the agency, it was laced with unapproved substances that were injurious to the body.
“Kurkura is an illicit product illegally consumed for the sole aim of getting intoxicated. The substance when abused can be harmful to the body organs such as the brain, kidney, and liver. The damage to the kidney and liver cannot be overemphasised. This substance can cause irrational thinking, and an altered state of mind, which if taken by a driver can lead to a road traffic accident with the attendant fatality consequences or can lead to criminal behaviours such as rape, kidnapping, and murder.
“Another herbal preparation that is of concern is aphrodisiac and we have discovered the lacing of it with cannabis.
“In our recent operation, we impounded the following dangerous herbal aphrodisiac at some Islamic Herbal Medicines shops in Zaria, Kaduna State – Gagare Man Power, Minister For Man Power, Almenjou For Lazy Men in Bed, Nisan Zango Karfin Maza, Shagalin Ka Man Power, Dakan Jia Man Power enhancement, Wuff Male Sexual Performance, Afafata For Sexual Drive, etc.
“So far, one of the illegal factories involved in the production of such unauthorised products has been shut down and the owner arrested. Worthy of note is the discovery of the usage of Hyergra 200 (Sildenafil Citrate tablet), Amafranil tablets (Clomipramine tablet 25mg), and Cannon Extra (Paracetamol 500mg+Caffeine 30mg) in the production room. The owner admitted that he dissolves the Hyergra 200, Cannon Extra, and the Amafranil in a drum and mixes the content with boiled Kanafari, Garlic, Dundu, Marke, Hankufa, Sweetener, and Sodium Benzoate to make up the Man Power preparation. Yet the label on the preparation read 100 per cent herbal.
“The effect of such preparation on a person with heart challenges can only be imagined. The makers of these products were arrested and later granted bail. The investigation is ongoing.
“An alcoholic bitters product that is of grave concern is Japata Alcoholic bitters which was duly registered by NAFDAC but laced with marijuana or cannabis compared to the registered product that had only ethanol. Through intelligence, NAFDAC was able to shut down the company. This product when tested in the laboratory caused the death of the mice within five minutes. The alcoholic content was doubled compared with the registered product. The retained samples, kept at the point of registration, did not cause any injury to the animals.
“The product laced with cannabis was said to cause an altered state of mind and psychological problems to the user. The owner of the company is on the run and the matter has been shared with the NDLEA.”
The don pledged that the agency will continue with the raid on other illegal production outlets and the perpetrators will be dealt with in line with the extant laws and regulations.
“This drives home the fact that the eradication of fake and counterfeit drugs, adulterated and unwholesome processed foods, and other regulated products is a holistic battle that should involve every well-meaning Nigerian. I want to assure Nigerians that NAFDAC is doing everything to ensure that only safe medicine and wholesome food of the right quality are sold to our citizenry,” she said.