Deterrent action required

WE HAD highlighted, in this column on July 1, the increasing number of shops involved in selling formulations (or traditional drugs as it is known as in the Northern Emirates) under the garb of selling herbs.

By The Monitor

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Published: Fri 8 Jul 2005, 2:17 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:42 PM

We had also highlighted the dangers of such herbal and drug concoctions handed out by persons who have no expertise in the field, and thereby putting human life to risk. These shops are no labs producing formulations nor do they have any sense of hygiene, all of which go into coming up with a dangerous mix which can only cause more harm than good for the user. Besides, these establishments are licensed only to deal in herbs and not come up with any herbal formulations.

Our campaign for nipping this problem in the bud seems to have found favour with the Department of Public Health and Environment in Ras Al Khaimah which clamped down on the practice of a line of treatment called 'Hijama' or wet-cupping, wherein a traditional medicine practitioner inflicts a cut on the patient and draws blood.

The action followed the detection of 'Hijama' being practised in a herbal and perfumes store. The department did a good job in detecting this practice, and extracted an undertaking from the owner of the store that he would not resort to 'Hijama' in future. But surely the department realises that this practice is being put into use in various places including residences, and as such, only a more stringent action would be a deterrent.

What is required is for the authorities to declare it illegal, and announce legal and punitive action against those practising such lines of treatment which are harmful. This is the only way to stop quacks from taking people for a ride.

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