National Drug Authority (NDA) has arrested a man in Iganga district after he was found counterfeiting two products, one for cough and the other as “pulling oil” for women’s genitals.
Labia (folds of skin around vaginal opening) stretching or “pulling” as it is commonly known, is believed to give greater sexual pleasure to both men and women.
Peace Mutuuzo, Uganda’s minister for culture and gender, sparked controversy in 2020 when she called labia stretching a type of female genital mutilation and advocated for its eradication.
NDA spokesperson, Abiaz Rwamwiri, said the suspect Kenneth Ariko was mixing a concoction of waragi and petrol to form what he calls “an oil for women to pull their genitals”.
Ariko was also mixing antibiotics and painkillers for a product he claims treats cough.
“All these were being packaged in contaminated medical waste containers some with expired drugs and distributed by hawkers,” he said.
He revealed that the Busoga sub-region has the highest level of drug hawking and sale of drugs in makeshift markets.
He noted that drug hawking is not only illegal but also creates leakages in the drug supply chain and exposes the public to impure drugs.
“NDA can’t guarantee the quality and safety of hawked drugs given that drugs are sensitive and their quality can easily deteriorate depending on how they are handled or stored. Given the fact that hawkers are mobile, they expose drugs to unfavorable temperatures and without a permanent address, it is also difficult to trace and take regulatory action in case we have issues with hawked drugs,” he said.
Rwamwiri described hawkers as conduits of substandard, falsified, counterfeited and expired drugs which can result into various drug-related problems and life-threatening events.
He noted that hawked drugs are increasing disease resistance both in humans and animals as they are associated with either ineffective drugs or poor dosages since hawkers are not qualified to prescribe or dispense medicine.
Rwamwiri called upon the public to report such hawkers but also desist from the activity.