Luwero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Drug Authority-NDA has impounded drugs worth 81 million shillings and closed 167 drug shops in greater Luwero.
The drug shops were found operating without licenses, employing unqualified staff, clinics illegally operating drug shops and others operated in unconducive buildings.
The operation was conducted in 503 out of 509 drug shops in districts of Luwero, Nakaseke and Nakasongola.
Samuel Kyomukama, the head of enforcement at the NDA said that during the operation, they found drug shops operating in buildings without ceilings which exposes the drugs to direct sunlight.
He added that some clinics were found displaying drugs to attract buyers yet this is prohibited because they are not supposed to sell but treat patients.
Kyomukama said that 167 drug shops and pharmacies will remain closed until they meet the requirements.
He however noted that no person has been arrested because they want to help them comply but once they fail, they will be prosecuted in subsequent operations.
Fredrick Ssekyana, the spokesperson NDA says all impounded drugs were transported to NDA stores at Nakawa where the affected owners of drugs will reclaim them after fulfilling the requirements.
At Mackay drug shop in Nakaseke, NDA inspectors asked Godfrey Nabeeta, the attendant for a copy of academic qualifications, and he presented a certificate of attendance of a workshop and had no license forcing them to impound the drugs as well as close it.
At Holy Cross Namirembe and God is Able drug shops in Nakaseke district, the inspectors found the nursing assistants running the drug shops below the required minimum academic conditions.
Out of 503 inspected drug shops and pharmacies, only 281 had valid licenses and 55 were waiting for approvals.
In 2020, NDA arrested 25 people for illegally operating drug shops and five of them have already been convicted.