Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 183 drug outlets have been closed by the National Drug Authority-NDA in Western Uganda over the last one week.
The outlets were closed in an enforcement operation that started on November 18, 2019 and ended on November 22, 2019. It covered 19 districts including Ntoroko, Bundibugyo, Bunyangabo,Kabarole,Mubende, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa, Kagadi, Kakumiro, Mityana, Kasanda, Hoima, Masindi, Kyankwanzi, Buliisa, Kiboga, Kikuube, Kibaale and Kiryandongo.
NDA officials inspected 538 drug outlets including drug shops, pharmacies and clinics. They discovered that 183 had queries leading to their closure. A total of 342 boxes of assorted medicine estimated at shillings 119.7million were impounded.
Some of the outlets were trading in expired drugs others were involved in relabeling, packages while some were being operated by unqualified personnel. Large quantities of medicines labeled “Government of Uganda Not for sale” intended for use in public health facilities were also recovered from several drug outlets at Kanara landing site in Ntoroko district.
Speaking to Uganda Radio Network at their Western regional offices in Hoima town, Samuel Kyomukama, the Head of Enforcement at National Drug Authority, said four people were arrested during the operation. The suspects include a one Bwambale and Wilson Ashaba of Ritz clinic in Nyahuka town council Bundibugyo district.
They were handed over to Nyahuka police station for allegedly operating unlicensed premises, admitting patients and lack of requisite qualifications. The other suspects are Mrs. Mwesigye of Mwesigye Traders in Hapuuyo trading center in Kyegegwa district and John Besiga of Market Street in Kagadi town council.
They were found selling veterinary drugs in unlicensed premises. Mrs Mwesigye was handed over to Kyegegwa central police station while Besiga was handed over to Kagadi central police station. Kyomukama said unregistered medicine from the Democratic Republic of Congo was recovered in Nyakugamba in Bundibugyo district.
He explained that the operations and post market surveillance are intended to protect the population from substandard, counterfeit and unregistered medicines.
According to Kyomukama, this is the sixth operation being conducted this financial year following others conducted Central, West Nile, Eastern, Northern and South Western Uganda. Cumulatively, a total of 3311 drug outlets have been surveyed, leading to the closure of 1099, impounding 1,707 boxes of assorted medicines estimated at Shillings 687 million. The entire operation to date has protected an estimated 1,678,000 unsuspecting persons from consuming medicines from unlicensed and unqualified drug outlets.