By Nakanwagi Olivier Mukaaya
The National Drug authority (NDA) has impounded 191 boxes of assorted medicine valued at shs38 million in the different districts of Soroti, Amuria, Kapelebyong, Kalaki, Kumi, Serere, Ngora and Bukedea.
The National Drug Authority Eastern region Manager, Mr Tom Makumbi, said that the medicine was impounded during an operation in the 8 districts that was aimed at closing drug outlets that do not comply with the licensing requirements.
During a press conference held today, Friday 4th December in Mbale city, Makumbi said that they managed to inspect a total 282 drug outlets (4 Pharmacies, 6 clinics and 10 veterinary drug outlets) of which 138 were licensed, 138 unlicensed, 33 were illegal and a total of 148 outlets were closed because of non-compliance.
He added that they were able to observe that although most drug outlets were licensed, the qualified personnel in charge of the outlets were not available at the premises leaving the drug outlets in the hands of unqualified individuals contrary to NDA licensing requirements.
“In our operations we discovered that most persons we found in these drug outlets were unqualified which is dangerous to our people and we made sure these outlets close,” Makumbi said.
Makumbi further says that they were able to also recover government drugs in some drug outlets and one person was arrested and detained.
“Some drugs intended for the public health facilities were also recovered in these drug outlets and one person identified as Mr Charles Emaju was detained at Soroti police case No SD/75/30/11/2020”
He however says that those NDA operations are aimed at safeguarding the public from accessing medicine from unqualified and unlicensed health professionals that end up administering counterfeit human and veterinary medicines.
He has encouraged the public to continue putting on their masks, washing their hands, practicing social distancing and applying Ministry of Health guidelines, to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Samuel Kyomukama, head of enforcement NDA said that as National Drug Authority, they want to ensure that the pubic accesses safe, efficacious and quality human and veterinary medicines from the licensed drug outlets manned by quality medical personnel.
“It’s only in those licensed outlets that we as the NDA can guarantee the safety and quality of medicines only,” he said.
He also informed the public that NDA has a duty of surveying medicines and other health products in Uganda to ensure that the population is dispensed with safe and quality medicines.
He added that these operations and post market surveillance activities are intended to protect the population from substandard, counterfeit, unauthorized medicines and other health care products.