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Steroid vitamin injections flood markets

BY: Lydia Ezit

The Managing Director of REVIV Ghana, Ms Yasmin Mahama, has raised concerns about the quality of vitamin injections being administered on the market, noting that some were made of steroids.

Steroids, she said, had some serious health problems that could affect the kidney or the liver.

Steroids are man-made versions of chemicals, which work by decreasing inflammation and reducing the activity of the immune system.

She said some of those facilities that were into the use of steroids offered their service in a black market style so it was difficult for authorities to confirm the quality and content of what they were administering to customers.

Ms Mahama raised these concerns in an interview with The Mirror.

She said it was important for people patronising vitamin injections and IV therapies to do so at a facility regulated by Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA) and approved by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).

Vitamin injections and intravenous or IV therapy is a way to give high concentrations of vitamins and minerals that the body needs directly into the bloodstream through a vein.
REVIV Ghana is a preventative healthcare facility that delivers vitamin injections and IV therapies in various packages to help recover from illness, hydration, boost energy, aid weight-loss, promote better overall wellness and refresh skin health.

Trend
There has been an increase in the service run by various facilities on the market. Social media is constantly flooded with the activities of these vendors in videos and pictures through advertisement soliciting for customers.

A view of such videos shows an obscure room with persons who seem to be unprofessional offering the service from an unclean space.

Some of the adverts focus on using IV to brighten the skin, saying it contains glutathione, a property which reduces oxidative stress in the body to improve the overall complexion.

Recently The Mirror noted that some online stores known for the sale of wigs have now added IV services.

“Most of the IVs they claim have glutathione in them are made of steroids. Steroid is actually what pigments your skin, anything that gives you a quick lightening effect is made of steroids and those steroids kill your organs, your kidney or your liver. Unfortunately, because some of these vendors are unregulated, the HeFRA and FDA are unable to confirm the content of what they administer to customers.

“To be able to know that you are accessing a registered facility, customers should ask for their HeFRA certificate and their health facility regulatory authority certification,” she said.

Ms Mahama said it was unfortunate that the insight of IV out there had been reduced to a concept of skin lightening and that was the false perception they were struggling to do away with.

She noted that having beautiful skin was not just a surface thing and must start from within by undertaking a comprehensive preventative healthcare regimen.

Who needs IV
Ms Mahama said the IV drip contained minerals and vitamins with no additives so it had no side effect, explaining that “people who are ill, fatigued, those recovering from a sickness or on the verge of catching a flu could go in for IV therapies.

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IVs must be administered in clean spaces

“There are those who come in on the request from their doctor. And then there are those who feel like there is something wrong with them but they cannot pinpoint what exactly it is. You will consult with our medical doctor and she will recommend some tests for you to do at the laboratory and then it will identify some of your deficiencies. For instance, if you are only deficient in zinc, we will give you just that,” she added.

Effectiveness
She said IVs were very effective and the average rate was immediate. After 24 hours, “you will start feeling the benefits”.

Oral vitamin and IV
Asked whether taking vitamins through IVs were a better option as compared to taking them orally, she said: “There is a huge difference. With the IVs, the right form of the vitamin is maintained and you are sure of the dosage and quantity that the body needs and it goes directly into your bloodstream, bypassing the digestive process which reduces the incidence of loss of efficacy. The major difference is in the mode of delivery and the quality of the product”.

She urged young women to stop looking for a quick fix to obtain beautiful skin. “They don’t even need to bleach the skin. The most important thing is the quality and texture of your skin whether black, chocolate or fair, the most important thing is the health, that’s where REVIV Ghana comes in”.

Rabito
The Chief Executive Officer of Rabito clinic, Mrs Karen Hendrickson, said the IV therapy was pure vitamins which were safe to boost health but should be administered by a professional phlebotomist.

A phlebotomist at REVIV Ghana administering IV to a customer

She said the service should be rendered in a clean environment that would enable the customer to feel safe.

Expressing her pleasure to partner REVIV Ghana to have the service in her facility, she said it could be administered in a client’s home upon a request.

“The challenge I find with other places is that you go there and the person administering the vitamin therapy does not come across as a trained professional. We are using phlebotomists, people who specialised in finding the veins, and this makes it a painless operation.”

“The reason we need IVs is because our foods do not have the amount of vitamins and minerals in them that they claim to have and if they do by the time we cook it, it is just a little left, so our body is almost always starved for nutrients and being able to put the nutrients directly into the body through the vein is a way one can get that in a very safe way,” she said.