Many of my friends are die-hard disciples of orthodox medicine. They are licensed medical doctors who would deploy every argument at their intellectual disposal to defend the nobility of their profession. In their worldview, the claims of herbalists and other tradomedicine practitioners to offer excellent remedies to certain medical conditions are null and void, owing to the visible lack of standardisation paradigms, which form the hallmark of orthodox medicine.
Even though I am not a medical doctor, these friends of mine appreciate the fact that we can learn from each other on cerebral pedestals, especially in argumentative and analytical scenarios. We have had reasons to brainstorm on several societal issues relating to the practice of the Hippocratic profession, including the role of spirituality in medical practice, psychiatry and recently reproductive health.
One cannot blind himself to the unbridled arrogance and opportunistic indiscretion with which some charlatans arrogate medical expertise to themselves, especially in the area of male reproductive health. From the illiterate agbo seller to the semi-literate advertiser of aphrodisiac concoctions, these people claim that conditions, such as premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction, can be treated permanently with the help of their mixtures. It is on the basis of these claims that they place advertisements in different print media, rubbishing any man who cannot engage in marathon intercourse.
Unfortunately, while aspiring to attain these utopian heights, a lot of men have done more harm than good to themselves. There have been cases of penile fracture as a result of over turgidity caused by aphrodisiacs, which active compounds are strange and incomprehensible to their users.
There is also the problem of priapism which happens when there is excessive blood supply to the penis as side effect of some aphrodisiacs. Many have also died of heart attack, either due to overexcitement or the mere fact that both the cardiac and pulmonary regions are over-burdened by the volume and velocity of blood forced out of the heart.
In an era when most fast food and beverage brands are battling to improve brand equity and attain higher margins, the reproductive health of most men is threatened by diabetes. The rise in diabetic cases is alarming. According to medical experts, most men compound their sexual health woes out of ignorance. Indeed, it has been proved that impotence and erectile dysfunction could be symptoms of diabetes and other underlying health conditions. It is therefore expedient for men to acquaint themselves with rudimentary medical knowledge, especially now that one can Google almost anything on earth.
This means that some or even most of the men who patronise roadside aphrodisiac sellers, in the name of trying to correct erectile problems, are actually suffering from other undiagnosed ailments. They need more enlightenment and the media must join NAFDAC and other regulatory agencies to safeguard the health of these men.
While it is good to pursue sexual fitness, we must also exercise restraint in our consumption methods. It is a fallacy to say that a man must be able to have marathon sex to be seen as physically fit. This is because good sex is influenced by several factors such as mood, environment, age, and so forth.
Trust the Nigerian businessman, who usually capitalise on the ignorance of the market. The rampant cases of erectile problems and the “vaulting ambition” of most men to prove their manliness in “the other room” have inspired various “therapeutic” expressions in the emergence of questionable alcoholic products with ridiculous names. These products are purported to enhance sexual performance but, often, they end creating more harm than good because they are typically without the endorsement of health experts.
Nigerians must be thoroughly orientated to understand the health, psychological and even social problems that arise from patronising these charlatans and their spurious products.