A section of quacks Ayurvedic, Unani and Herbal doctors are doing brisk business at various hotspots of Khulna city and outskirts in the name of herbal treatment under the very nose of law enforcement officials.

The fake herbalists are prescribing medicines that promise a cure for all diseases from cold to cancer within 24 hours or in a week only to make a fast buck by fleecing hapless poor people. The so-called doctors have neither any degree and certificate nor any approval from the authorities concerned, but their healing business is up.

Hundreds of people, especially youngsters, are being cheated everyday, as they spend a lot of money for such treatment, the conscious section of the local alleged. They always target those suffering from sexually-transmitted diseases (STD).

At least 25 to 30 herbal treatment centres are offering health services and guaranteeing to cure any disease beforehand. They have put up attractive signboards in different areas of the city, including Gallamari, Khanjahan Ali Road, Moylapota, Mistripara, Nirala Moar, Sonadanga Bus terminal and Zero point area.

The herbal treatment centres also place advertisements in local newspapers to draw attention of patients and also engage their men to convince patients to undergo treatment at those centres. They even distribute thousands of attractive leaflets in front of educational institutions, business houses and bus stands to attract the common people. Now-a-days, they have gone for television commercials.

In a recent visit at different herbal treatment centres, this correspondent found so-called Hekims treating patients suffering from hepatitis, rheumatic fever, cancer, paralysis, acidity, asthma, piles, fistula, hysteria and skin diseases without any tests.

Abdul Baten, a patient from Dumiria upazila who came to Madraj Unani Complex at Moylapota in the city, said, “Doctors assured me of being cure after taking medicine. I spent a lot on the medicine, but still I am having the same problem.”

Superintendent of Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH) Dr ATM Monzur Morshed said, “None can guarantee curing of a disease before treatment. When the whole world is busy doing research on cancer and Aids cures, then I don’t know how the so-called Hekims or doctors are guaranteeing success in treatment of those diseases.”

He also said that the so-called herbal treatment centres are just cheating the people. The government should take action against them as early as possible, he added.

Noted physician of Khulna Dr Md Mahbubur Rahman said, “Some medicines are being given to ailing people in the name of slimming body or gaining weight. Those can increase the risk of developing liver and kidney diseases.”

Civil Surgeon of Khulna district Dr AFM Abdur Razzak said that the registration process of herbal medicines is not transparent. Licences are given to produce and distribute herbal medicines at random, but the process needs to be strictly regulated and monitored by a special team.

Dr Razzak further said, “Everyday hundreds of people fall prey to the dishonest, self-styled doctors and fall sick after taking these cheap herbal medicines instead of getting cured. Finally, the poor will lose their productivity and be burden on family and society also instead of being a support.”

Assistant Director of Drug Administration, Khulna Md Abdur Rashid said, “Publicity and advertisements on such medicines are inconsistent with the medical ethics and a flagrant violation of the existing laws.” They are just fleecing the patients in the name of herbal treatment, he added. Abdur Rashid further said, “We require more manpower to conduct random drives against these so-called herbal doctors to stop the selling their cure-alls and save people from their grip.”

Gazi Moniruzzaman, Khulna