The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has suspended the sale and distribution of a sanitary pad known as COMFIT.
In the interest of public health and safety, other regulatory actions have been taken by the FDA.
The feminine hygiene product, is manufactured in Nigeria to closely resemble popular Ghanaian and international brands to swindle unsuspecting women.
Relatively cheap to manufacture, COMFIT is believed to be made from cotton wool and Gauze. The knock-off pads are sold at an exorbitant price in stores and hospitals mainly in the Volta Region, Central Region, Ashanti Region and the three Northern Regions.
The product marketed as ‘Comfit Deluxe Sanitary Pads’, is not “approved” by, and has been “unregistered” by the FDA. The FDA is unable to guarantee the safety and quality of COMFIT sanitary pads.
Therefore, one can only conclude from this that COMFIT sanitary pads could pose a health risk to women who use them after delivery.
Even though ‘Comfit Deluxe Sanitary Pads’ is commonly used in various hospitals across the country by midwives, the product has failed a series of tests therefore indicating that Comfit Sanitary Pad is unsafe for public use.
Despite numerous letters from the FDA to various CEO’s and Medical Directors of Regional and Teaching Hospitals nationwide bringing to the attention that COMFIT is unregistered and unapproved and that its safety and quality cannot be guaranteed, some nurses due to the financial reward that comes with selling the product, have blatantly disregarded the FDA’s cautions.
Our checks revealed that in most cases, these desperate women are charged extortionate sum to be supplied with the packets of COMFIT.
It was further gathered that women who bring in their own maternity pads for delivery are refused treatment as the nurses only accepted the unlicensed COMFIT product.
Maternity or maxi pads are often inserted into a woman’s vulva to absorb blood after delivery.
The primary suspect, a man named Alhaji, has been importing the unlicensed product from Nigeria through illegal land routes to Ghana, as no taxes or applicable duties are exercised.
In regions where COMFIT is predominantly used, there are increasing cases of cervical cancer, toxic shock syndrome and other infections as the product is deemed unwholesome.
Independent investigations have revealed that those patients who bring safe and hygienic sanitary pads for maternity use are often turned away by midwives, as the selling of Comfit comes with high profit margins.
Despite the fact that Medical Directors of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital have been notified of the threat the product poses by the FDA, our checks revealed that midwives at the facility are still prescribing the use of COMFIT to patients.
Intel collected by Independent sources has shown that the midwives remove the pieces of COMFIT from its original blue and gold plastic bag and re-bag in order to avoid detection.
Apart from the health implications COMFIT causes, it appears that some locally made safe brands which serve the same function are significantly cheaper in price than COMFIT.
Specifically in the Ashanti Region COMFIT wholesales for between GHS7.00 and ¢8.50.
The midwives and market traders then retail for anywhere above GHS10.00
The final consumer does not only suffer the indignity of infections by an unsafe product prescribed by midwives but also the overly excessive expense in procuring COMFIT sanitary pads.