Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Drugs Authority (NDA) southwestern region office is stuck with drugs worth 53 million Shillings that were impounded during operations carried out last year.
The two weeks operation was conducted in 15 districts of Buhweju, Bushenyi, Ibanda, Isingiro, Kasese, Kamwenge, Kazo, Kiruhura, Kitagwenda, Lyantonde, Mbarara, Mitooma, Ntungamo, Rubirizi, and Sheema.
During the operation, at least 649 boxes worth 300 million Shillings were impounded from 282 drug outlets in March last year, and their owners asked to collect them once they comply with the NDA licensing requirements and regulations, according to Dr Kiiza Kenneth, the NDA southwestern region manager
He however says that to date, only 241 outlets have complied. From the response, a total of 563 boxes worth 246.8 million Shillings have been returned to the owners, while 100 boxes worth 53 million Shillings are still not claimed.
Kiiza says that another operation conducted this week has also seen another 720 boxes of assorted drugs worth 252 million Shillings impounded. These were collected from 742 drug outlets, which include four pharmacies, 609 human and 111 veterinary drug shops and 18 clinics.
He says currently, they have a total of 806 boxes of assorted drugs uncollected noting that they are following the set procedures and the drugs that will expire will be disposed of.
Samuel Kyomukama, the Head of Enforcement at National Drug Authority says most of the impounded drugs are seized from drug outlets that are not licensed and others found being operated by unqualified personnel. He adds that some of the drugs have a government seal and are not supposed to be sold in private facilities.
He says the National Drug Authority is liaising with the local governments to identify drug outlets for licensing noting that most of the unlicensed drug outlets have been found with trading licenses issued through the local governments.
Jackie Kusiima, an enrolled nurse at God’s Mercy Clinic Rwentobo says it is always hard to process and collect the impounded drugs, yet often they don’t have money to fulfil the NDA requirements.