Harnessing Social Media As A Relevant Tool to Curb Fake Drugs and Quacks In Nigeria

Social media today is becoming a mainstay Worldwide, with numbers towering towards millions of users per minute.

A wonderful invention of technology and great minds!

Today, we can share a lot online, from files to pictures with amazing memories, to recordings and so on. An invention worthy of the praises and accolades it receives.

Just like every drug, it comes with side effects and benefits. Maybe another day, I'll tell you why I consider social media to be a drug.

Today, we talk about harnessing Social Media as a relevant tool to Curb the spread of Fake Drugs and Quacks In Nigeria.

Fake drugs are fast becoming a menace to our society, likewise the presence of fake health workers and drug dealers on rampage to absolutely no good.
These Men and Women may pose as experts, deceiving the unlearned and unsuspecting fellow. Little wonder they are abundant in the slums and ghettos where civilization barely sprouts a pod. 

We are currently in a generation where Social Media is becoming the last hope of the people. How do I mean?

Mr. John was assaulted by a Policeman and Mr. John is also a broke plumber. He is traumatized by the incident and quickly takes pictures of his multiple injuries and posts them on his Facebook page. Mr. John has 300 shares at the end of the day with 2k likes and 2k comments and a hash tag to his name... #justiceforjohn
Eventually he has justice due to efforts of well meaning individuals. 

Someone else may post about how they are in dire need of money on social media, and boom! (that's the way they say it), they have been gifted a huge sum of money... 
And so. The examples are infinite.

Social Media is cheap to access, that's the beauty of it. We can get the solution or the problem we need on social media with just kilobytes of data. 

Can social media help us spot remote fake drugs and drug dealers in Nigeria and the world?

Many months ago, I noticed a strange Man who sells powdered substances packed in an unprofessional manner in papers.
These substances were said to treat asthma episodes in patients. 

So many people bought this. Some testified of the efficacy and a few others said nothing positive.

During this period, I lived no where close to a  NAFDAC  office or even an NDLEA office to make complaints.
I was poised however to complain, but no headway! 
I resorted to Twitter and I sent a message to the Official NAFDAC account via direct message informing them of my experience in that community. 

This was the message below 

Just in case the image is not clear enough, here it is below

I write to inform you of an unnamed powdered substance currently in consumption in my area or residence, thought to mechanistically treat episodes of asthma and dry cough. This substance is wrapped most times in a white paper which reveals on opening, a white granulated drug with a slightly pungent odor.

I'm requesting for forensic investigation into this substance, it's constituents and probable mechanism(s) of actions as well as side effects.

If there are any details, you may require, please reply this message.

Kind regards.
Omoku c.j "

Did NAFDAC reply me? 

No! They didn't!
Even up till now. 

Not long after  notifying them, I heard that the guy supplying the substance had relocated to somewhere else. 

I thought to myself... What if this guy was just grinding Paracetamol and selling to people? Or what if he was just selling something poisonous? Maybe it was potent, what if we have a new anti asthma drug before us? 

This would have been the golden opportunity for NAFDAC to explore that substance; if not good for consumption, Hand him over to be prosecuted.

Agencies responsible for drug related issues can learn to use their Social Media platforms to clamp down on fake drugs and drug dealers by being open and responsive.

Like I said, social media is becoming the last resort of many people today. That is all they have!

Very few people can write letters today. If you request that a formal letter must be written before you can address a situation, how many persons can write? Just few! 

If social media platforms of drug agencies in Nigeria are responsive, cases of fake drugs and drug dealers can be reduced greatly. 

Social media is a good tool to Curb Fake Drugs and the rampage of Quacks today in our society if used properly.

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