Benue State Government and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) say they are to burn expired drugs stored at the agency’s epidemiology unit in Makurdi.
The drugs are worth over N74.8 million and are part of the consignment procured by the previous administration, according to the Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Cecelia Ojabo.
Speaking at a press conference in the state capital on monday, she said other drugs to be destroyed were sourced from various hospitals across the state.
She said the drugs expired between 2003 and 2016, adding that many of the medicaments had turned into powder.
Ojabo noted that the current administration of Governor Samuel Orton had not acquired large quantities of drugs.
She berated the former administration for providing large quantities of drugs when it knew that they could expire quickly.
She also blamed strikes by doctors and health workers for the expiration of the drugs.
She noted that the expired drugs were being closely guarded to prevent them from slipping into the markets.
Piano said the state government had engaged the drug revolving scheme to control the quantities if drugs in its custody and to reduce costs.
Ojabo said the government was collaborating with NAFDAC officials to secure a safe location for the destruction.
She said it was important to secure a safe location for the burning of the drugs to reduce environmental hazards from the exercise.
The commissioner regretted that drugs had not been destroyed in the state in a long while.
She said NAFDAC and the Benue State Environment and Sanitation Agency had yet to conclude arrangements on cost and location of the exercise.
She commended Governor Ortom for mustering the political will to tackle health matters in the state.
She also commended the governor for inaugurating the Primary Health Management Board and working hard to unify the health systems in the state under the universal health scheme.
She said the government hoped to tackle more than 80 per cent health problems under the scheme.
Ojobo also the state government had assessed the $1.5 million from the Global Fund by paying its counterpart funding.
She said the fund was meant to upgrade health facilities in the state.
According to her, another $500,000 will be available to the state when it succeeds in unifying all its primary health care structures for effective healthcare delivery.
Ojabo also said the Anti-Quackery Team of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and the Ministry for Health discovered 48 illegal schools of Health Technology in the state.
She said the team, which covered the three senatorial districts of the state, also discovered illegal clinics.