MASINDI – The fight against unlicensed drug shops, sale of counterfeits, substandard medicines for both human and veterinary is not yet about to end.
The National Drug Authority cracked a whip in the western region covering Bunyoro, Tooro, and Ssingo, which has saved the population from health-related risks resulting from quacks or unqualified healthy personnel operating unlicensed drug shops.
This operation amounted to the closure of 154 drug outlets during the week-long enforcement.
The operation conducted in 14 districts led to the inspection of 503 drug outlets with 204 boxes of assorted medicine estimated at UGX 68,600,000 impounded from the closed drug shops.
The NDA Regional Manager (Western) Mr. Chris Luzinda, revealed that the risk averted by closing the drug outlets reduces the disease burden of the unsuspecting population as a result of being conned by quacks or unqualified health personnel.
“This further promotes quality health service delivery resulting in better treatment of illnesses and prevention of diseases as the population access medicines from only licensed drug outlets manned by qualified health personnel.”
The districts covered in the operation included Kiryandongo, Bulisa, Masindi, Mubende, Mityana, Kyenjojo, Kabarole, Kibaale, Kiboga, Kagadi, Kasanda, Kyankwanzi, Kyegegwa and Hoima.
There were 10 arrests made during the operation and all are in custody at Lusozi Police Station and are pending prosecutions.
Mr.God Kanchiriho and seven others under ref SD 10/18/6/2019. Sulaiman Kibirige and one other person under reference SD 11/18/06/2019.
All were arrested together with the herbal concoctions and two vehicles used in the trade which were impounded.
Many unlicensed drug outlets at Butiaba landing sites that had evaded us for quite some time were successfully apprehended.
Other outlets visited included 58 veterinary drug shops, 41 pharmacies of which two were issued with closure notices, and 37 clinics for displaying medicines.
Mr. Frederick Ssekyana, NDA Public relations officer said:
Medicines in the hands of unqualified persons and stored in unsuitable conditions expose the population in the region and the entire country to wrong prescription, drug resistance, and other health-related risks or complications including death.”
This cumulatively brings it to a total of 1,684 drug outlets visited since the beginning of the NDA operations in March 2019, including other regions, leading to the closure of 746, impounding 1,238 boxes of assorted medicines, estimated at UGX 430,500,000 and affecting 48 arrests. The entire operation to date has protected an estimated 349,938 unsuspecting persons of unlicensed and unqualified drug outlet operators.
During the operations in all regions covered, veterinary outlets inspected were 126 and impounded 183 boxes of assorted medicines estimated at UGX 82,350,000.