KAMPALA – New details have emerged on the controversy surrounding the 4million fake lifeguard condoms that were recently recalled by the government indicating that a top pharmacist at Marie Stopes authorized the release of the fake condoms on the Ugandan market without prior authorization from the National Drug Authority.
The development is contained in a statement by Sarah Opendi, Minister of State for Health General Duties to Parliament after MPs tasked the Ministry of Health to explain how the fake condoms hit the market under their watch.
Opendi’s statement read, “Preliminary investigations indicate that the Pharmacist of Marie Stopes Kohora Ojambo Geofrey wrote an internal memo in November to the management of Marie Stopes to release the condoms on the pretext that NDA had cleared them whereas not.”
The Minister’s statement was in response to a concern raised on 20th November 20l9, by Mbwatekemawa Gaffa (Kasambya County) raised an issue regarding four million faulty condoms that had been imported and distributed by Marie Stopes Uganda and recalled by NDA
Minister Opendi explained that condoms are subject to mandatory analysis before release to the market by NDA Quality Control laboratory, a laboratory prequalified by World Health Organisation (WHO) and also accredited by ANAB (a certification Agency for USA), to ISO/lEC 17025 Standard.
She said that the laboratory is at level 4 in terms of quality and this implies that it is among the best laboratory for testing, drugs rubber and condoms.
According to Government, every importer is given a conditional release to quarantine the product until analysis results are provided by the laboratory.
However, NDA during routine surveillance on the market detected two unauthorized batches; 19050105 and 19040205 had been released to the market, which prompted a recall was initiated and as of 21st November 2019, 70% of the consignment had been recovered and NDA inspectors and the importer are in the field to retrieve more condoms.
The Minister added that the earlier retrieved stock 46% were destroyed at Luwero Industries Limited, Nakasongola on 31st October 2019 and the additional quantities retrieved are under quarantine awaiting destruction as the recall process from all regions continues.
At the moment, investigations regarding unauthorized release of the failed Life Guard condoms onto the market are ongoing and any apprehended culprits shall face the law under the provisions of the National Drug Authority Act.
Additionally, National Drug Authority team working with Marie Stopes is conducting surveillance to retrieve the 29.2% faulty condoms that are the market.