Fri 10 Apr 2009, Ruby Mon
Two brands of traditional Burmese medicine have been found to contain arsenic and are now considered unsafe for human consumption, according to a public warning made by Burma’s Ministry of Health.
The two brands are Daw Tway and the children’s medicine, Daw Kyin. However, despite the warning being made through state media outlets, including Myanma Alin newspaper, some members of the public in Mon State appear to be unaware of the announcement and are continuing to buy and sell the brands.
“If these kinds of drugs are dangerous then I didn’t hear about it. I’m still selling one of them in my shop and people are still buying it. I sell the children’s medicine, Daw Kyin but I’ve never seen the other one, Daw Tway,” said a shopkeeper and mother of three from Mudon Township.
A pregnant midwife and mother of two, also from Mudon, said, “At our monthly meeting no-one talked about these drugs. I’ve never used them but I did hear on the state radio station that they contained something dangerous.”
Two phone owners in Mawlamyine contacted by IMNA said they hadn’t heard about the warning but didn’t use the medicines anyway. However, a female phone owner in Konlar ( check in from No land to Farm) village, Mudon Township, who was also unaware of the public warning, said that people were still buying the children’s medicine there.
Traditional Burmese medicine is cheaper than prescription drugs and more popular in poor rural areas than in towns and cities.