The Zimbabwe Professional Nurses’ Union (ZPNU) has warned members of the public against procuring pharmaceutical products from unregistered retailers and dealers to avoid being sold counterfeits that may pose serious health hazards.
Manica Post quotes ZPNU president, Mr Robert Chiduku as saying people must buy medical drugs from reputable outlets only to prevent acquiring fake or expired medication. Reports the state-run publication:
We have noted with concern the emergence and increase of unregistered institutions and individuals selling medical drugs. This is against the law as these are not regulated and may not be accountable.
We are urging the public to desist from dealing with such people and outlets as doing so jeopardises their own health as they may be sold fake or expired products.
He added that due to the high cost of some medication, peddling of pharmaceutical products has seen the proliferation of unregulated street vendors and backyard outlets that sell medical drugs.
Meanwhile, public health institutions that provide medical products at reasonable prices have not been stocked enough to satisfy demand.
Zimbabwe’s health sector is recovering at a painstakingly slow pace following decades of rot that has been attributed to negligence and looting by political elites.
In 2019, antibiotics, painkillers, contraceptives, dermatological creams and body enhancement supplements were readily available on the streets after being smuggled into the country.