There’s an opioid abuse problem unfolding in African cities and it’s not getting the attention it needs

The WHO is concerned that scheduling Tramadol could inadvertently limit the licit use of the medication especially in the developing world where effective pain relief is already hard to come by
Friday, March 16, 2018

TramadolAfrica remains one of the regions least served with effective pain relief medicine and although Tramadol is not the strongest of analgesics, it is a darling on prescription lists. That’s because unlike other opioids such as methadone and fentanyl, Tramadol is not internationally regulated, hence it is cheap and readily available for patients. Doctors prescribe Tramadol in cases of post-surgical pain, bone deficiencies and cancer and the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) classifies it among its ‘essential drugs’ list. However, in the last decade, the continent has seen a significant rise in the non-medical use of Tramadol, which produces similar effects to the “high” caused by heroin. (See also: FDA seizes large quantity of Tramadol and other drugs)