KAMPALA — Broadcasting stations that advertise herbal medicine without obtaining NDA approval have been warned to desist from the practice.
Following complaints from the public, Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) which regulates the communications sector has threatened regulatory sanctions on all media houses that carry adverts of drugs by quack herbalists.
“All broadcasters are accordingly reminded to observe the above legal and license obligations and are directed to immediately stop the broadcasting of any advertisement and programs that are intended to promote the use of any herbal or other medicines and remedies unless the same has obtained prior approval from the National Drug Authority,” the UCC wrote.
Under the law, traditional herbalists are barred from running adverts claiming to cure diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea, diabetes, heart disease, leprosy, epilepsy and cancer.
Other diseases include
Cataract, Trachoma, Deafness, Diabetes, Diphtheria, Tuberculosis, Dropsy, Erysipelas, Gallstones, Glaucoma, Goitre, Heart disease, Hernia, Kidney stones, Locomotorataxy, Paralysis, Lupus, Pneumonia, Pleurisy, Poliomyelitis, Scarlet fever, Schistosomiasis, Septicaemia, Smallpox and any structural organic ailment of the auditory system.
UCC says that it recognises that medicines and medicinal products have the potential for beneficial effects but can also be harmful if not used correctly.
“All forms of advertising and promotion of any medicines and medicinal products, therefore, need to be responsible, ethical, and to the highest standard, to ensure their safe use,” a statement further adds.
It has become common for herbalists to advertise their medicines to draw the attention of the general public. Some claim they can enlarge certain body parts of the human body while others claim that they can cure all diseases including the deadly HIV and AIDS.
UCC says warned that any broadcaster found in contravention of the directive to stern regulatory sanctions