02 May

Nigeria bans cough syrup with codeine after addiction outcry

Nigeria has announced a ban on the production and import of cough syrup containing codeine after a BBC investigation into its role in an addiction epidemic.

A health ministry spokesman told the BBC remaining stocks in shops could be sold with a prescription.

The BBC investigation showed the syrup being sold on the black market to be used by young Nigerians to get high.

It recorded a number of pharmaceutical figures selling the drug illegally.

The joint probe by the BBC’s new investigation unit, Africa Eye, and BBC Pidgin prompted a swift response from people across the country, including Nigeria’s first lady, Aisha Buhari, who said in an Instagram post she was “deeply saddened” by the rise of the problem, especially in the north of Nigeria.

“I call on all security agencies, lawmakers, judiciary, drug manufacturers, civil society, regulators, teachers, parents, neighbours and you to take this as a personal war and halt the menace,” she added.

However, Olajide Oshundun, the Ministry of Health’s assistant director of information, said the ban was a result of months of work by a committee, which submitted a report into the widespread abuse of the medication on Tuesday.

Read the full article here: BBC News

 

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