Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Health has embarked on a drive to dispose of expired and obsolete medicines and other health supplies from 6,619 Health facilities in Uganda, both Government owned and Private Not For Profit (PNFP). Currently, the quantities of expired medicines all over the country are estimated to be about 1,200 to 1,500 tons.
“This process will create more space for adequate storage of medicines and other health supplies delivered by National Medical Stores (NMS), and Joint Medical Store (JMS),” Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr.Diana Atwine assured the press on Monday in Kampala.
Dr Atwine said expired pharmaceuticals are a growing concern in the country and can also result into a risk to national security. “This process and prevent the risk of public health hazards, pilferage, and relabeling as a result of keeping such items in health facilities for long,” she said.
Flanked by the National Medical Stores (NMS) General Manager Moses Kamambare, Dr Atwine assured that a collaborative approach has been put in place between Ministry of Health, National Drug Authority, National Medical Stores, and Joint Medical Store and towards successful implementation and execution of this exercise.
They said obsolete supplies in Public Health facilities – from Health Centres II, III, IV and PNFPs will be picked from District Health Offices (DHOs) for each district. For General Hospitals, and Regional Referral Hospitals (RRH) will be picked from the health facilities on return trips by NMS trucks during the routine scheduled deliveries for the viable medicines to these health facilities.
Atwine said the Ministry of Health has also tasked the National Drug Authority to establish a rigorous post market surveillance system. “ This will ensure that all the medicines on the market, both imported and locally manufactured are closely monitored for safety, efficacy and quality,” she said.