Traders worry as 'Bentua' shortage hits markets in Accra

Enema bulb syringes, commonly known as "bentua," are in dire shortage in Central Markets in Accra.

Enema Bulb Syringe

This scarcity is causing notable disruptions in both medical and traditional practices, eliciting growing concerns among vendors and customers alike.

For the past three months, there have been no wholesale supplies of bentua, leading to a chaotic market situation, as reported by The Mirror newspaper.

A visit to the market revealed that vendors are struggling to meet demand, with many pointing fingers at a licensed importer in Kumasi accused of monopolizing the importation process, thereby worsening the shortage in Accra.

Georgina, a vendor at UTC in Accra, expressed frustration, noting that the Kumasi-based wholesaler prioritizes distribution to Kumasi and some West African countries like Côte d'Ivoire, leaving Accra with insufficient stock. "The wholesaler's focus on other regions has left us in a lurch," she lamented.


Another vendor shared similar sentiments with The Mirror, highlighting that the exclusive reliance on imports from China severely impacts their businesses.

"Frequent complaints and agitation from potential customers have been overwhelming," the vendor added.

Maame Bee, a bentua seller at Kingsway in Accra, underscored the dependency on the Kumasi importer.


"If the woman in Kumasi does not supply the Accra Central market, no one else seems to have the right to import into the country."

"Unfortunately, we cannot produce 'bentua' in Ghana," another vendor named Naa Tsotsoo said.

Naa Tsotsoo, another vendor, questioned Ghana's inability to produce bentua locally despite their widespread use.

"China, Germany, and Holland all produce 'bentua'. There is also an Indian company in Abidjan making them. Our great, great grandmothers have been using this; Why can't we produce some here?"

The shortage has led to skyrocketing prices, with bentua now selling between GH¢25 and GH¢70, depending on the size. This price hike is further straining the budgets of consumers who rely on these syringes for essential health and traditional practices.


As the market remains in a state of uncertainty, businesses and consumers alike are left waiting for a resolution to this pressing issue.


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