Quackery on The Rise in Karbi Anglong


Alarming proliferation of quackery

Shocking mushroom increase of quacks in the interior areas of Karbi Anglong and places bordering, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Nagaon district has taken an alarming proportion recently.

The quacks have not only invaded the profession of the doctors but have taken unlicensed and illegal pharmacies as their business partners. The amount of brutality and unethical practice done by the quacks could send shivers down the spine of any sane person.

In the past few years, abnormal quacks posing as doctors have opened pharmacies without any valid licence or maintaining all prescribed norms, as a qualified pharmacist recognised by registered medical institutes can only operate a drug store.

In this district where rural medical access is primitive, even today, quacks and illegal medical stores have mushroomed in places like Mailu, Langsakham, Watijor, Howaipur and in areas adjacent to Howaipur rail station, Kheroni, Doyangmukh, Jenkha, Donkamukam, Baithalangso, Sildubi, Rajapathar, Jirikinding, Muthadi, Khatkasla, PCR, Ulukunchi, Khanduli Mulabar, Telahor, in west Karbi Anglong. Border areas of Bokajan, Borbil, Daithor, Lamsakhan, Atijor, Sankar Tila etc of east Karbi Anglong are teeming with quacks.

According to another survey conducted by a vernacular daily published from Diphu, quackery has spread like a deadly virus in semi urban places like Bokulia, Dokmoka, Langhing and Parokhowa of eastern Karbi Anglong. Scenario in places like Dalimbari, Laopani, Seuri, Bornguri, Vokchong, Khaprijaroni of western part of the district is more serious where the combination of quacks and generic medicine have silhouetted the government’s medical service.

According to an investigation made recently by a local newspaper, 90% of the so called pharmacies are unregistered and the person who claims himself to be a doctor is in fact is a quack.

“It only shows that the problem of quackery is much more serious than we would have thought, they generally exploit the poor and the ignorant or the helpless, they are in fact making best use of the weakness of the health department,” said a medical officer related with National Rural health Mission.

Unholy expansion of quackery and burgeoning of illegal business of illicit medicine has become possible in absence of a Drug Inspector who generally oversees the authenticity of the medicine and other legal aspects of drugs.

In case of this district, the post of Drug Inspector is lying vacant since several years, in absence of effective official monitoring quackery has spread like wild fire in the remote and inaccessible areas.

“They not only administer drugs based on wild guesses but also carry out abortions and minor operations on the helpless people who have no alternative other than to submit themselves to the whim of the fakes,” said a political activist of Bakulia.

“Drug Inspector who is, posted in Nagaon district is also in charge officer of Karbi Anglong district and is executing his official responsibility of monitoring the drugs stores and the quality of medicine sold from his Nagaon office, since last 9 years hardly he has visited the places where business of illegal medicine and quackery has prospered at the cost of innocent life” said Amar Tisso prominent political activist of Singhason locality.

Probably the National Rural Health mission can take up the challenge to alter the situation by rapidly expanding their periphery of operation and reach the poor and the needy where the fake medicos are exploiting the ignorant and the helpless people.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.