The Sniper Ban: Lasting Solution?

A wise man once said, “If a hammer is the only tool in a Carpenter’s toolbox, he will definitely treat every challenge like a nail”.

This adage clearly reflects the recent ban of Sniper (insecticide) in small bottles by National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

According to NAFDAC, the ban of small bottles of an agro chemical called Sniper became necessary because of the recent wave of suicide cases across the country which has been linked to the intake of Sniper.

In my opinion, I think that this particular approach by NAFDAC can be likened to the treatment of only the symptoms of a severe bacterial infection while the causative organism embarks on a honeymoon vacation within the body system.

There is no doubt that this agrochemical has increasingly been a choice killer for persons contemplating suicide in Nigeria especially among Nigerian youths.

Yet it is crucial for us as a people to decode the root cause of these alarming death rates to enable us tailor the right solutions to specifically address these peculiar challenges.

Currently, it is no longer news that Nigeria is now the poverty capital of the world with unemployment rate of about 18% of her population. (According to the data released by World Bank in 2018).

The above can lead to frustration and suicide tendencies. Furthermore, the World Health Organization recently raised alarm about the increase in depression and poor mental health which is more prevalent in developing countries.

It is also important to note that suicide is first conceived in the mind and is independent of the method used in executing such tendencies.

These few factors listed above cannot be addressed through the ban of insecticides.

Additionally, with the high prevalence of microbial diseases in Nigeria of which insects are vectors, the ban will hamper the prevention and control of microbial diseases especially among those with poor financial background that are more susceptible to infections.

The solution I proffer is partnership between NAFDAC, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Information to educate the masses especially the youths about the effects of suicide, offer encouragement and support to those who have given up on life.

The government should also work hard to boost the economy while creating employment for our teeming youthful population.

In conclusion, Nigeria should navigate her ship towards developing practical solutions to her diverse challenges so that our walls of Jericho will not collapse on us while we are busy hunting for bush meat at Sambisa Forest.

Pharm Chima Amadi
Pharmacist, writer and Social influencer.

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