KAMPALA – The new 20-man board of the National Drug Authority (NDA) led by Dr. Medard Bitekyerezo was on Thursday, February 27, 2020, sworn in at a ceremony held at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.
The Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, who was the guest of honor, congratulated the board chairman and all members upon appointment to serve NDA.
She noted the achievements of the 6th Authority and thanked them for their visionary leadership and oversight that enabled NDA to perform excellently over their tenure. She stated that It was important to recognize that NDA was voted the best visionary health government regulatory agency for the year 2019. A great achievement of the 6th Authority.
Among the many achievements of NDA had been the enforcement operations against the theft and sale of Government drugs from public health facilities, hence compromising quality health service delivery. This brought to light this vice and ensured that those responsible were held culpable, saving the government hundreds of millions of shillings in pilferage of medicines. She, therefore, implored the incoming Authority to intensify operations against these culprits.
The minister stated that despite the achievements, the country is still faced with numerous emerging global and national public health threats such as the rise in cross border movement of counterfeit medicines, epidemic outbreaks such as the coronavirus and recent Ebola epidemics and many others.
“These public health threats challenge our existing systems and question our level of preparedness. She urged the in-coming 7th Authority to not only build on the successes of the previous Authority but also increase the level of preparedness of the NDA to competently deal with these emerging threats,” Dr Aceng said.
“As a Ministry we pledge to provide the much-needed guidance, support and policy oversight to ensure the NDA continues to deliver on its mandate and consolidate the achievements attained in the 6th term while working towards achieving her vision of “A Uganda with safe, effective and quality medicines and health care products.”
In his remarks, Dr Bitekyerezo thanked the minister for allowing him to serve NDA for another term and pledged to provide guidance to the Minister of Health on the implementation of the National Drug Policy.
He also promised to lobby for the fast-tracking and enactment of the National Food and Drug Authority Bill 2017 into Law in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Parliament, Control the quality of drugs.
“In this regard, the Authority shall strengthen intelligence gathering and regulatory action against falsified/counterfeit medicines in the country,” Dr Bitekyerezo said.
He also promised to control the importation, exportation and sale of pharmaceuticals, strengthen regulation of veterinary medicines by improving stakeholder engagement through inter-ministerial dialogue, promote and control local production of essential drugs, secure land for construction of regional offices to provide conducive environment for testing of medicines, storage, stakeholders engagement and staff and complete the construction, equipping and commissioning of the laboratory tower.
I look forward to working harmoniously and collectively with fellow Members of the Authority to consolidate the momentum needed to advance the goals of NDA. We shall remain on the forefront of ensuring a Uganda with safe, effective and quality medicines and health care products.