Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Health is set to resume the supply and distribution of the recalled Hepatitis E vaccines to patients across the country.
The drugs, Texavir, manufactured by Cipla Quality Chemical Industries were voluntarily recalled in July this year due to errors in their packaging.
The Company, Cipla Quality Chemical Industries said it had discovered that the packaging for the medicine under batch number QK 70373 was faulty, which consequently changed the chemical composition of the drug.
According to a statement issued by Cipla Quality Chemicals in July, one of the constituents of the drug referred to as an impurity was out of range in a packaging insert delivered alongside with the drugs.
“Instead of having a chemical presence of 0.1 per cent, it stood at 0.3 per cent, due to false packaging” read part of the statement preceded by extensive tests by the National Drugs Authority (NDA) which later cleared them as safe for consumption.
On Thursday Dr Rachael Beyagira, the Technical Officer on Hepatitis at the Ministry of Health revealed to the press that 4,000 doses of the drugs have been resupplied to the country by Cipla Quality Chemicals Industries. She said the drugs will be distributed to 71 out of 130 districts in need beginning next week.
“The Ministry is planning to supply the drugs to the Hepatitis B high burden districts in Northern Uganda first before others eventually get” she stated adding that more consignment of the drugs will be delivered into the country.
This is after Dr William Omale, a doctor at Arua Hospital informed Dr Jackson Amone, the Commissioner for Clinical Services in the Ministry of Health about the acute crisis upcountry health facilities are facing.
Dr Omale said patients are in dire need of the drugs and should formally be informed by the Ministry of any latest development around the withdrawn drugs or changes in the lines of treatment in case of any.
Dr Jackson Amone then said the drugs are still being verified by the manufacturer adding that the drugs will be supplied to those in need free of charge.
Dr Stephen Elima, the Medical Superintendent of Gulu Hospital said the crisis triggered by the withdrawal of the drugs had overwhelmed the regional hospitals in Hepatitis B high burden regions.
While the drugs were missing, hospitals depended on Antiretroviral Drugs to manage the disease.
According to data from the ministry of health, it is estimated that 3.5 million Ugandans are living with chronic hepatitis B infection.