STEVEN MVULA, Parliament
GOVERNMENT says it does not approve of advertisements of medicines purported to be cures for HIV/AIDS, claims for enlargement of male sexual organs and
Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya said in Parliament yesterday Government has not verified any claims of an HIV/AIDS cure and medicines for changing the status of body organs but has advised all stakeholders with such claims, including traditional health practitioners, to voluntarily take their commodities to the ministry for research to determine their efficacy.
Dr Chilufya was responding to a question by Luangeni member of Parliament Charles Zulu (PF), who wanted to know if Government approves of the advertising of such claims.
He said that people with such claims are generally unwilling to take their products to the ministry for assessment.
“The Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) has been undertaking a number of activities to curtail the practice in order to protect the public. Although the practice is still on-going, there has been a major reduction in advertising in print and electronic media,” Dr Chilufya said.
He said the Zambia Daily Mail, Times of Zambia and some radio stations in Lusaka and Copperbelt have already stopped advertising such claims in response to the directive issued by the ZAMRA.
“However, some smaller media houses are yet to comply,” Dr Chilufya said.
He said the ministry will soon present to Parliament the Traditional Medicines Bill, which would harmonise traditional, complementary and alternative medicine practices and behaviours and provide a legal framework to regulate the practice, including the advertising of such claims.
And Dr Chilufya says the Sondashi Formula is still subject to research and that once anything relevant is done, the nation will be informed.
He said this in response to a follow-up question by Mr Zulu, who wanted to know what the ministry has done about the locally developed medicine.