State House Health Unit cracks a whip on illicit drugs, quack health workers in Mukono

Ms. Florence Awati and Ms. Grace Ejeru behind the counter and one of the drug shop owners in Kisoga, Mukono. (PHOTO/Namajja Elizabeth)

MUKONO – A Health Unit from State House has carried out an operation in Mukono District where they are cracking down illegal drugs sold in these drugs and also unqualified personnel operating these drug shops.

During the operation, the unit discovered that at least 80% of the drug shops in the district are being managed by unqualified persons which put people’s lives at risk.

Ms. Florence Awati, the team leader, said that the unit was mandated by the president to monitor all health facilities in the country.

The operation was carried out in areas like Bukerere, Joogo, Kisoga, Katosi and many more places.

While in Kisoga, the team found St. Faustino Drug shop selling illegal drugs termed as Class B and A which they are not supposed to do.

Ms. Awati explains that class A and B drugs are those that are only prescribed to patients by doctors.

Ms. Awati said: “Class A and Class B drugs are drugs only prescribed by a doctor like Ciprofloxacin, Azithromycin, ampicillin, penicillin, drips among others.”

“Class C drugs are drugs meant to relieve pain like panadol, flu drugs which can be prescribed in drug shops.” She added

According to Ms. Awati, these class A and B drugs end up in drug shops because most health workers with access to the drugs in hospitals tend to get them from hospitals and take them to their drug shops at home where they employ someone to help them run the business in their homes.

Some of the drugs and forged practising certificates captured during the operation. (PHOTO/Namajja Elizabeth)

This was evident when a housemaid was found managing her boss’s drug shop while she was away at work. Other cases were of people who had foraged practising health certificates.

Ms. Awati advised health workers to always be careful when employing their staff since some of them present fake documents.

“I ask my colleagues in the profession to always cross-check their staff’s documents because some of them present fake documents and also to ensure that they are registered with professional bodies like the Nurse’s council,” Awati said

Ms. Grace Ejegu a senior nursing officer on the team says that the drugs caught is not supposed to be administered by nursing assistants in class c drug shops because these nurses cannot help patients in case there is a problem.

Ms. Ejegu said: “These drugs should not be sold out in drug shops because if the patient gets a problem as a result of the drugs these people may not be able to help especially since most of the people operating them are not qualified.”

Mr. Eseru Paul Communications Officer Health Monitoring Unit in State House said that the exercise is running across the country and is meant to ensure that people are safeguarded from fake medical practitioners.

He said: “This operation is being done countrywide to ensure that drug shops are being operated by qualified people instead of entrepreneurs and also to see that the medicine being prescribed in these drug shops is the right one.”



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