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Several arrested as NDA stirs up whip on illicit drugs, unlicenced practitioners in West Nile

The NDA team – in the company of district health officials – display some of the impounded medicines during a sweep in West Nile (PHOTO/ Abraham Mutalyebwa)

ARUA – Subsequent to the recent operations in some parts of Central, Eastern and Western Uganda, the National Drug Authority (NDA) on Tuesday, May 14, dragged the axe to West Nile clamping down unlicenced drug outlets, dealers of government medicines and practitioners.

The five -day operation held jointly with Uganda Police Force covered six districts of Pakwach, Nebbi, Yumbe, Koboko, Zombo, Maracha, and Arua.

This follows a series of operations in some parts Kampala, Eastern Uganda in districts such as Mbale, Soroti, Bulambuli and in Western region – Mbarara, Bushenyi, Sheema, Buhweju, Kasese, among others;

The National Drug Authority team inspected 210 drug outlets – accounting for Pakwach (35), Nebbi (42), Zombo (8), Yumbe (24), Koboko (53), Arua (40) and Maracha (8).

During the operation, closure notices were slapped on 57 drug shops, and over 121 boxes of assorted medicine – amounting to UGX 42,350,000 were impounded.

A Congolese national, Tio Jordan found in possession of drugs destined to South Sudan. (PHOTO/Abraham Mutalyebwa)

However, special attention was given to the following categories of impounded medicines that included: Quantities of medicines labelled “Government of Uganda” discovered such as malaria rapid test kits worthy for use on 375 patients.

“Government of Southern Sudan” Amoxicillin worthy doses for 1,000 patients,  Co-Trimoxazole worthy doses for 80 patients. Ferrous Sulfate tablets that were expired worthy doses for 30 patients.

Unregistered medicine like Super Apeti. Artesunate & Amodiaquine tablets meant for Democratic Republic of Congo public health facilities were netted from the various drug-outlets with smuggled/donation medicine like Praziquantel, taking the toll.

The NDA West Nile Regional Manager, Mr. Emmanuel Umirambe, said:

“The pilferage of medicines from public health facilities compromises the quality of health service delivery and denies patients in need of medicines hence discrediting government programmes.

Medicines in the hands of unqualified persons expose the population in West Nile and the entire country to wrong prescription, drug resistance, income loss and other health-related risks or complications including death”.

A minor supervising Hope Drug Shop in Tingkori, Kucwiny Trading Centre, Arua. (PHOTO/Abraham)

ARRESTS

There were 5 arrests made during the ongoing operation.

These include 3 persons hawking medicines, and another operating a business of a pharmacist without a license in Kampala shift market Arua district. Namely; Mindreru Janet (SD Ref 61/16/05/2019) of Kampala market operating a business of a pharmacist without a license.

Deboru Florence of Ediofe Wanyapa Vill, Tio Jordan (Congolese) and Atiku Stephen SD Ref 62/16/03/2019.
All are in custody at Arua Central Police Station pending prosecution.

In Agwok Trading Centre, Nebbi district, one Kertho Sunday of Good Samaritan drug shop is being held at Nebbi Central Police station under SD Ref 53/13/05/2019 for dealing in class B drugs.

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