OPINIONPeople Daily

Poisons board must strike out quacks from our midst

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board is the drug regulatory authority set up under the Pharmacy and Poisons Act, Chapter 244 of the Laws of Kenya.

The board regulates or is supposed to, the practice of pharmacy and the manufacture and trade in drugs and poisons.

Its website says it aims to implement the appropriate regulatory measures to achieve the highest standards of safety, efficacy and quality for all drugs, chemical substances and medical devices, locally manufactured, imported, exported, distributed, sold, or used, to ensure the protection of the consumer as envisaged by the laws regulating drugs in force in the country.

Away from that mouthful mission statement, this board owes us an explanation. I am still aghast that a suspected quack found five years ago sexually assaulting his patients in Githurai and now on the run, reinvented himself and started another clinic in Kayole. Yes, you heard right. Another clinic.

It was horrid enough that Mugo wa Wairimu had managed to dodge authorities for years as he plied his malevolent trade.

Luckily, his escapades were uncovered when a patient discovered she had lost her pregnancy during “treatment” for an unrelated issue.

Just when we thought that the arrest and taken to court of this chap served as a wake-up call for the authorities, we wake up to the news that he moved location and continues to ply his evil trade.

Even worse, he managed to sweet-talk another character, who was running an equally dubious clinic and took it over.

It is not clear how the two fellows ran clinics without being either trained or registered by the relevant bodies.

So, where was the regulatory board been all this time? More crucially, how did these tricksters and fraudsters manage to operate illegally and how many patients passed through their hands?

More fundamentally,  how many others of this ilk are out there, swindling patients and making a killing from pretence?

How many patients could have paid for the weird services and had their conditions worsen or even dying?

How safe are Kenyans, especially those in neighbourhoods who seek medical services from Mugo and his evil brigade?   

The board needs to explain to Kenyans precisely what they are doing or have done about such cases.

They must do what they should, and conduct sting, impromptu operations to net such villains and ensure the safety of individuals who seek healthcare services.

Such dastardly operators must be removed from our midst and locked up where they belong, away from peace-loving wananchi. I am still aghast. God help Kenya. — The writer is Special Projects and Assignments Editor, People Daily

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