Libido enhancer ban fuels black market

HARARE - Many Zimbabwean men are struggling to keep it up.

And one in every 10 men is willing to seek treatment for humiliating and perturbing erectile dysfunction.

The ban on male sexual performance (libido) enhancers by the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe, may lead to a flourishing black market for the performance-enhancing drugs.

Men aged 35 and above, and some even younger have been frequenting the pharmacies and herbal clinics to purchase erectile dysfunction medication or herbal concoctions, which cost around $5.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability of a man to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for his sexual needs or the needs of his partner.

Some have genuine erectile dysfunction problems and others seek these products for experimental purposes.
Dothan Moyo, the president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Zimbabwe (PSZ), said there has been a surge in demand of the products and pharmacies’ sales are going to be affected by the ban.

“I don’t have the figures but pharmacies may have been pushing significant units of these products.

“It will affect retail pharmacy sales. There has been a demand of these products, showing that there is an underlying problem in this area.” Moyo said.

He said doctors would evaluate cases individually and will be able to prescribe a solution.

“Those who believe they have genuine sexual performance problems are advised to seek medical attention, as there are registered medicines to treat erectile dysfunction,” he said.

Zimbabwean men are well known for shying away from the doctors’ rooms especially to discuss such issues.

Most are content with self-medicating themselves to rectify problems.

Regarding the ban of these highly-sought-after products, Moyo said it is prudent to assume that the “black market for these products will certainly thrive but police have been alerted about the problem.”

“What is critical is for the public is to understand that the withdrawal is for protecting the safety of the public.”

“I urge members of our communities to desist from purchasing any medicines from the black market, and reiterate the need to seek medical help.

“Pharmacies are accessible sites for health information and the public can speak to their community pharmacist about options,” he said.

Most men experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives, usually by the age of 50.

However, younger men are highly disturbed by it, as it erodes their self-esteem.

Health experts say erectile dysfunction can have a range of causes, both physical and psychological.
Most men experience this and it tends to worsen with age.

A local pharmacist told the Daily News on Sunday that younger men are frequenting the pharmacies more than the older ones because of stress-related issues.

“Due to the social and financial pressures and unhealthy lifestyle habits, many younger men are prone to experiencing erectile dysfunction. Over-the-counter medications that are available can help with these problems if they are short-term problems, but it is important to find out the cause first,” said local pharmacist.

“The popular natural remedy medications are Vitamin E capsules, Zinc tablets, Ginseng capsules and other Chinese tea products. You can see the humiliation in a man’s face when he walks into the pharmacy to purchase these capsules, especially the younger ones who usually experience it due to things like stress, alcohol and unhealthy diets.”

Some men are humorous about it, especially the older ones. They justify it by saying that they have young wives or girlfriends and need to keep them happy and satisfied so that they do not have to share their mistresses with financially-challenged younger boys.

Edgar Mhizha, a local health expert, said many men experience sexual problems from time to time.

“When the problems are persistent, they can cause distress for the man and his partner, and have a negative impact on their relationship,” Mhizha said.

“If you consistently experience sexual function problems, see your doctor for evaluation and treatment. Erectile dysfunction is quite common, so the trick is to find out what is causing it in you.”

Medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and hormonal problems could result in erectile dysfunction in men.

Comments (1)

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patrica amy - 19 August 2017

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