KAMPALA – National Drug Authority (NDA) has reported an increase in the number of fake veterinary doctors operating drug shops.
This was confirmed on Friday after the conclusion of a veterinary compliance monitoring and support supervision exercise both in public and private veterinary drug outlets.
The exercise was conducted in the districts of Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Luwero and Wakiso in central region.
According to Abiaz Rwamwiri, the Public Relations Manager, National Drug Authority inspected, 95 drug shops, a pharmacy, 3 district veterinary cold chain facilities, 8 animal feed shops and an agrochemical shop.
Rwamwiri says, during the operation, NDA noted non-compliance of issues that included; leaving unqualified attendants in veterinary drug outlets (qualified veterinarians leave their wives, husbands, children to sell drugs), improper storage of light sensitive drugs, operating veterinary drug outlets without valid NDA license, debilitated veterinary cold chain facility (lack of power backup), stocking vaccines in domestic rather than pharmaceutical refrigerators, lack of temperature monitoring devices and charts among others.
Also, NDA closed 15 drug shops due to serious no-compliance issues and impounded 55 boxes of drugs valued at over Shs 150 million.
It also impounded over one million doses of livestock vaccines which were found poorly stored from the 18 drug shops and in a pharmacy.
Out of the impounded million vaccines, 20,700 PPR vaccine doses and 2,550 Rabies vaccine doses were quarantined for destruction at both Luwero and Nakaseke districts due to poor cold facilities that compromised the effectiveness of the vaccines.
“More than 108 veterinary drug outlets were visited out of which 15 were closed due to serious non compliances issues and 55 boxes of veterinary drugs worth of Shs150 million were impounded. We also found over 1million doses of veterinary vaccines poorly stored and these have been impounded for destruction,” says Rwamwiri.
He says, this was part of NDA ‘s routine post market surveillance activities intended to protect the human and animal population from drugs and healthcare products that are substandard, counterfeit, unauthorized and unqualified persons handling drugs among others.
We appeal to the public to be vigilant and report any drug outlets that do not comply with standards on our toll-free line 0800101999, said Rwamwiri.
Lt. Col. James Mwesigye, the Resident City Commissioner (RCC), Mbarara also a renowned cattle farmer in Sembabule district, condemned NDA operations targeting employees and leaving out business owners running the veterinary outlets without any idea related to veterinary services.
“You cannot catch a worm and leave out the big fish in the waters. Why don’t they go for their bosses?” Mwesigye asked
Mwesigye added that such NDA operations should continue due to the consistent public outcry by livestock farmers decrying fake drugs in the Ugandan open market.
Dr Andrew Bakashaba, the District Veterinary Officer (DVO) Mbarara, says the veterinary profession is faced with the challenge of private veterinary practitioners who have commercialized veterinary services with unscrupulous practices.
“We have all sorts of private veterinary practitioners with different qualifications but what I know for someone to be registered as a practicing veterinarian; they must be having a Diploma in Animal Production as the minimum qualification as per the Uganda Veterinary Board Regulations. So, this business of someone completing a farm school and is also injecting animals is not allowed,” said Bakashaba.
He appealed to farmers to always ask for a license from veterinary practitioners whenever they come to their farms.
“As Mbarara district, we have embarked on registration of all the private veterinary practitioners sometimes we even work with them, supervise and we are responsible for the mentioned actions. So, we advise farmers to only use the accredited veterinary practitioners,” said Bakashaba.
The National Drug Authority (NDA) is a government-owned organization in Uganda that was established in 1993 by the National Drug Policy and Authority Statute which began its operations in 1994.
In 2000, it became the National Drug Policy and Authority (NDP/A) Act, Cap. 206 of the Laws of Uganda mandated it to regulate drugs in the country, including their manufacture, importation, distribution, and licensing.
The Act established a National Drug Policy and National Drug Authority to ensure the availability, at all times, of essential, efficacious and cost-effective drugs to the entire population of Uganda as a means of providing satisfactory healthcare and safeguarding the appropriate use of drugs.
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