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NDA rounds up illegal drug dealers in eastern Uganda

Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Drug Authority (NDA) has arrested and charged two people for allegedly Impersonating as NDA staff and three for dealing in illegal sell and smuggling of drugs.

Officials of NDA also impounded assorted drugs worth shillings 130 million from private pharmacies and clinics in the Eastern part of the country.

The drugs were recovered during an operation to crack down on the illegal sell of drugs and outlets that do not comply with licensing requirements. The operations conducted for two weeks from August 2-13th, 2021 covered districts in the sub regions of Teso, Bugisu, Sebei and Bukedea.

Among the impounded drugs included unregistered medicines such as viagra and postinor not meant for the market in Uganda but smuggled into the country through the porus borders especially in Namisndwa, Kapchorwa, Bukwo and Amudat.

Samuel Kyomukama, the NDA head of enforcement told Journalists on Friday during a press conference at Wash and Wills in Mbale City that during the operation, 655 drug out- lets were inspected, 36 of which pharmacies, 599 were shops dealing in human, vet and herbal medicines, 20 clinics and 225 of the drug out lets were closed.

He said that they also impounded 325 boxes of assorted drugs estimated at Shs 130 million, and also arrested five individuals during the operation. Those arrested include;  Emmanuel Wanzala from Manafwa district, Patrick Opolot of Soroti and Ester Amulen from Kumi who have been charged with carrying on business as pharmacists without licensing, and unlawful possession of classified drugs.

Other suspects include Dr. Martin Okello of Moruapesur clinic in Soroti district and Henry Engwedu who were arrested for forgery, urtering false documents, receiving money by false pretense, impersonation as NDA drug inspectors and extortion of money from operators of drug shops.

According to Kyomukama, during the same operation, lumertem tablets labelled Government of Uganda “Not for Sale” and intended for use in public facilities were impounded from St. Rhoda drug shop in Amuria district.

He said that there is more compliance to the NDA licensing guidelines in the Eastern region compared to the past operations as the number of illegal outlets registered has decreased.

Dr. Tom Makumbi, the NDA Eastern Region Manager said that the border districts neighbouring Kenya are on the spot for smuggling into the country drugs especially sex enhancers like a drug like kifaru which is registered for Kenya use.

He called upon the public to be vigilant and report anyone who smuggles and illegally deals in unlicensed drugs adding that the Teso sub region has the highest number of illegal drug out lets.

Luganda

Samuel Okello, the Commandant of the Field Force Unit in Mbale said that they will arrest and prosecute anyone found with illegal drugs.

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