MEDICINE is supposed to represent a blessing, in the form of, at best curing a sick person who takes it, and, at worst, to get relief.
If that principle is turned upside-down, by way of either making the ailment from which a given individual is suffering worse, or causing one's death, a crisis arises and has to be addressed fast.
That's the backdrop against which the warning sounded by the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) should be taken seriously.
The authority urged the public to be wary of a fake malaria drug, an imitation of Zehejiang Holley Nanh Pharmaceutical-Duo-Cotexcinbeing.
Greedy people, acting singly or in criminal syndicates, are always on the lookout for whatever opportunities may crop up, which they seize as openings for making the proverbial quick buck.
The medical field has such opportunities, considering that, at any given moment, there are several people worldwide, pretty well running into millions, who are sick and are desperately seeking cure, The drugs are one of the basic forms of treatment that cooks manipulate as a basis for reaping where they don't sow.
They produce sub-standard, or fake drugs that they release onto the market, and which people who can't easily tell whether they are being conned. Medicines may be falsified, meaning that the treatment has been deliberately and fraudulently mislabeled.
Some contain no active ingredients at all or contain them in incorrect amounts, and are not compliant with World Health Organization standards. Being fake, the drugs obviously can't yield the intended results.
The results that they lead, to, instead, are horrific-the worsening of patients' conditions, or outright deaths. Patients are left acutely puzzles why drugs that are meant to fight the diseases that are tormenting them, do not respond as expected.
Being non-professionals, the standard assumption is that it is God's well that the treatment process isn't effective, or that it should take longer than expected.
If by sheer chance, they discover that they had been cheated, much damage would have been done, both physically and psychologically.
TFDA has every right to warn those taking people's lives for granted that the government would hold them responsible and drag them to court for intentional killings.
Besides the need for members of the public to be on the lookout, law enforcement organs must raise the bar in tackling criminals who tamper with people's lives.