Maputo — The Mozambican police on Friday warned that they will spare no effort in the fight against the illegal sale of medicines that belong rightfully to the national health service, and will arrest all those caught in this illicit activity, regardless of who they may be.
The warning came as the police launched a campaign against the illicit sale of medicines. The site chosen for the launch was Maputo's largest wholesale market, in the outer neighbourhood of Zimpeto.
The sale of medicines in the open air in markets is not only a crime, but a serious threat to public health. Some of the medicines are past their expiry date, while others have deteriorated because of the poor conditions under which they are kept.
"We are here ready to act and do what is necessary against those who break the law", said police spokesperson Lucas Boane.
The campaign was launched by the Maputo City health authorities, under the theme "Protect your health, don't take medicines sold in the streets or markets".
The health director of the KaMabukwana municipal district, Ezeqiel Mahumane, told the meeting "there are proper places for the sale of medicines, namely hospitals and pharmacies. There the medicines are looked after properly. There we have air conditioning, which allows the medicines to be conserved and to keep their quality."
He urged all residents of KaMabukwana, particularly those selling other goods in the wholesale market, to denounce any cases they come across of the sale of medicines.
Medicines sold in the markets are exposed to the sun, Mahumane said, "and when we take them, instead of curing illnesses, they make us sicker. So we urge you not to take part in the illicit buying and selling of medicines".
Free phone lines are available through which members of the public can inform the police and the Maputo City Health Directorate of any illicit sales of medicines.