Thursday, May 24, 2012


The consistent and dogged bad press through the public awareness efforts of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is paying off. Drug counterfeiters have risen their hands in defeat and moved to the rural areas. Fine and good, but unfortunately, this is just round one. Remember that the dynamics of the urban and rural areas are of two opposite divides.


What would one expect with the likes of Dr. Akunyili standing behind NAFDAC for many years before she left? NAFDAC’s consistent campaign has clothed drug counterfeiting and buying of fake drugs with such bad press that people have started opting for legal, over-the-counter drugs and this movement to rural areas is not only because the people are acting positively to NAFDAC’s efforts, these campaigns have also made the cost of selling fake drugs higher than recognized drugs. NAFDAC has achieved a laudable success over the years. Yet, one should realize that by moving to the rural areas, these drug counterfeiters can still come back to the cities because at the cities you can find people who are more receptive to NAFDAC’s message than at the rural areas because they are more enlightened, educated and have access to better health facilities and information.

These factors could weaken NAFDAC’s fight as she shifts the fight to the rural areas.


images like this are the stuff rural areas feed upon. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Two factors might work against NAFDAC if she thinks she can fight with the same way as she has won at the rural areas.

One of them is that the rural areas are less educated than the urban areas and they still are the custodians of our traditions and customs which traditions and customs will always be against western education and enlightenment. NAFDAC will be spreading its message to a whole new set of ears who do not understand cityspeak.

Another mitigating factor is that whereas there is a standard to how one can broadcast and deliver messages to educated people as a body, there is no known documented and workable way in which NAFDAC can deliver its messages to the rural areas as one body. Each village or clan have accepted customs and traditions that one should say unfortunately is laden with superstitions that were created by the support and encouragement of herbal doctors. These are to the benefit of fake drug sellers who promise all sorts of cure for even a simple drug as paracetamol. The dynamics of the rural areas makes her work harder.

Only time will tell how the fight will end, but surely, if they are not defeated, these drug counterfeiters will bid their time to return to the cities when NAFDAC loses steam or loses sense of direction. On these latter, I can place my bets.
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