Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The chairman board of the National Drug Authority (NDA), Dr Merdard Bitekyereezo says he intends to ensure there are effective animal medicines on the market.
According to Bitekyereezo, all his efforts in riding the veterinary medicine sector of fake products was impeded by lack of an equivalent of the National Medical Stores since he was only dealing with the private sector which is often infiltrated by unscrupulous dealers.
He said that to be able to improve efficiency in the veterinary section, they recently increased the number of veterinary officials in NDA from four to seventeen to verify animal medicines.
However, this happens after Nyabushozi county Member of Parliament Fred Mwesigye sought leave of parliament last year to introduce a bill to regulate animal drugs and feeds citing the fact that the market is infiltrated by fake products.
Mwesigye said while NDA is mandated to regulate veterinary medicines, the authority mainly focuses on human medicines at the expense of the other section and that there are defects in the current veterinary drug regulatory framework, which is not in sync with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
Among the defects that he pointed include the fact that the current law gives the responsibility to import and distribute medicines to the ministry of health without paying attention to animal medicines that fall under the Ministry of Agriculture.
However, Bitekyerezo disagrees with accusations that the authority has neglected the veterinary section. He said apart from increasing human resource in the department, they have included a commissioner in charge of animal health Dr Anna Rose Ademun to offer representation on the board and guide on what critical areas of animal health that they should be focusing on.
He said while they regulate animal medicines, NMS is easier to work with because they can be brought to account than the animal side where they are supposed to deal directly with private individuals even when it has to do with government medicines.