Business

Shortage Of ‘Bentua’ Hits Accra Central Market

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For the past three months, the Accra Central Market has faced a shortage of enema bulb syringes, locally known as “bentua,” leaving many vendors empty-handed.This disruption in supply was brought to light during a week-long interaction between The Mirror and some traders in the product.

A vendor at UTC in Accra, who gave her name as Georgina, explained that the wholesaler supplied most of the stock in Kumasi and some West African countries including Cote d’Ivoire.

At the Central Market in Accra, some vendors were observed abandoning their wares in hopes of being timely in getting the “bentua” from their distributors.Amid this chaos, confusion arose when some vendors mistook this reporter for an importer who had come to improve their supply woes.

The “bentua” is a bulb syringe used in administering liquid through the anus for various health and ritual purposes.MedicalHowever, a medical practitioner in general surgery at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Philemon Kumassah, in an interview with The Mirror explained that the problem with the purchase had to do with what buyers were using it for, adding that the administration of some herbs through the syringe could have an effect on the colon and is therefore not generally recommended.He noted that it was only in rare medical conditions that its usage was required, “even that, it is a special enema which is very gentle on the colon when we want to clear the rectum”.“There is no health benefit for using an enema syringe and if there are no medical benefits, why are you using it?” he asked.

It is used to suction a baby’s nostrils and mouth after delivery to clear the airway for respiration”, she explained.UsersSome users of the syringe, including young people who spoke to The Mirror explained that they used it to relieve constipation, and diarrhoea, administer medication to improve sex and administer punishment to children.Daavi, a market woman, said she grew up in a Ga home and was not taught how to use it, and explained that she started practising it upon the recommendation of some market women.“I use my bentua after every three months as soon as l deworm.

Ella Mensah, 28, said, “bentua de3 3y3 birth control (the syringe is a birth control device), all you need is to grind some pawpaw leaves and administer it early in the morning after a sexual encounter instead of taking morning after pills”.TubeSpeaking on the handling of bentua, some market women noted that its tube could be replaced with a ballpoint pen container.

One of the women maintained that the original tube was better, hygienic and did not pose any danger.Another market woman, Maame Etruba, explained that the improvised was enough to give two shots at a go because it had a big opening and could absorb much liquid.“Besides the tip of the pen container is not smooth enough and likely to cause a tear at the anus” she added.

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