Tuberculosis Rivers Govt investigates illegal sale of drugs

Onyekwere recalled that some health personnel who sold TB drugs to patients in the past were directed to refund the money.

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Michael Otieno, a pharmacist, dispenses anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs at the Mater Hospital in Kenya's capital Nairobi, September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya play Michael Otieno, a pharmacist, dispenses anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs at the Mater Hospital in Kenya's capital Nairobi, September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
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The Rivers Government says it has commenced investigation into the alleged sales of Tuberculosis (TB) drugs in some health centres in the state.

Dr Nnanana Onyekwere, Director, Public Health, state Ministry of Health, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

He fielded questions on the sidelines of a public sensitisation programme on TB in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state.

He said that TB drugs were free of charge and not for sale.

The director assured that the ministry would get to the root of the matter and those found culpable would be sanctioned.

Onyekwere recalled that some health personnel who sold TB drugs to patients in the past were directed to refund the money.

On his part, Dr Kingsley Alerechi, state Director, Leprosy and Tuberculosis Control Programme, counseled traders in the market on prevention measures of the disease.

Represented by his deputy, Mrs Helen Nyechi, he said the disease was airborne and spread when an infected person coughed, sneezed, coughed and released the germs into the air.

He advised residents against staying in overcrowded and poorly ventilated houses, and imbibing cough ethics by covering their mouth when coughing, among other preventive measures.

Alerechi, however, advised infected persons to avail themselves of the free TB treatment provided by government.

According to him, Obio/Apkor and Port Harcourt City council had the highest population of people with the disease and advised people to take their health challenges seriously.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the sensitisation was preparatory for the World TB Day celebration slated for March 24.

In his remarks, Mr Sunday Ikechukwu, the Chairman, Eke Oyigbo daily market, commended the Rivers government for the sensitisation programme.

Ikechukwu urged that the exercise should be conducted annually.

According to him, this is the first time such programme was extended to traders in the area.

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