Evaluation of bacterial contamination and label information of oral-liquid herbal medicinal products for cough in Makindye Division, Kampala District.
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Herbal medicine a form of alternative medicine, is becoming increasingly popular both in low-income and high income countries. There are many herbal medicinal products on Ugandan market particularly in Kampala and many people are using these products. However, the bacterial qualities and label information of these products has never been ascertained yet undesirable and/or undeclared substances have been found to be present or have been purported to be present in herbal medicines sold in many parts of the world. OBJECTIVES: These include; To evaluate whether the information on the product labels of the specified oral-liquid herbal medicinal products for cough complies with National Drug Authority (NDA) labeling drug requirements, to determine the bacterial contamination of oral liquid herbal medicinal products for cough and to establish the possible factors at manufacturer’s level associated with the bacterial contamination of oral-liquid herbal medicinal products. The study was carried out in Makindye Division of Kampala District, Uganda. A descriptive cross-sectional study employing quantitative and qualitative methods was used to obtain the data. A total of 216 herbal medicine samples were brought from medicines outlets, and of the nine indigenous oral-liquid herbal medicine products for cough that are notified to NDA, Only six were available on market. Only one product variety had information on the labels that complied with NDA labeling requirements, therefore manufacturers of the five notified herbal medicinal product varieties for treatment cough were not complying with NDA requirements with the ingredient specifications being the most omitted label of information. In addition, the herbal products had varying bacterial loads with a total of 192 (89.3%) samples being within the World Health Organisation (WHO) set limits of total aerobic bacteria count (TABC) of <_ 10(5) cfu/ml. The maximum count obtained was 10(7) cfu/ml while the lowest count was zero. A TOTAL OF 4 (1.9%) samples and 3(1.4%) samples tested positive for Escherichia coli and salmonella respectively. The study findings imply that good manufacturing practices are still farfetched, with many of the herbal medicines producers. It is recommended that NDA speeds up the process of regulating the herbal medicines sector in order to ensure constant monitoring and control of the standards of herbal medicines available on the Ugandan market right from the manufacturer’s level.