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NDA impounds drugs worth Sh163.5 million in Northern Uganda

Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Drugs Authority (NDA) has impounded drugs worth 163.5 million shillings in Northern Uganda.

The drugs were impounded during a two- weeks operation conducted in the three regions of Lango, Acholi and Karamoja covering 17 districts of Abim, Agago, Alebtong, Amolatar, Amuru, Apac, Dokolo, Gulu, Kitgum, Kole, Kwania and Lamwo.

The other districts are Lira, Nwoya, Omoro, Otuke, Oyam and Pader from where 763 drug outlets, 2 pharmacies, 711 human and 25 veterinary drug shops and 25 clinics were inspected.

545 boxes of assorted drugs estimated at 163.5 Million Shillings were impounded from 349 unlicensed outlets. However, no arrest was made.

Samuel Kyamukama, the Head of Enforcement at NDA explained that the operation was meant to guide and sensitize the operators about compliance of NDA regulations.

Ronald Okello told the officials that he is in the process of acquiring a license. However, his drugs were impounded.

“We have been operating a clinic in another district but then we just shifted here recently that is why the house is still in a mess because we are still setting up. We are yet to get a license from NDA to operate a drug shop.”

Dr David Kagwa, the manager Northern Region explained that the operators were given adequate time to acquire licenses but they ignored the directives.

During the operation, drugs from government health facilities such as Lunarterm Artemether/ Lumefantrine and HIV RDT kits and unregistered Medicine; Kifaro smuggled from Kenya were impounded from Avemaria Drug shop in Otuke District.

Dr Patrick Buchan Ocen, the Lira District Health Officer explains that drugs are stolen at the consumption point because the government has a tracking mechanism for drugs right from the National Medical Stores-NMS to the health facility.

Meanwhile, NDA has registered an increase in the number of registered drug outlets across the country from 9,457 in the financial year 2019/2020 to 12,124 in 2020/2021. The number of pharmacies also increased from 1,820 in 2019/2020 to 2,369 in 2020/2021.

Kyamukama attributed the improvement to increased enforcement operations.

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