WEST NILE. The National Drug Authority in the West Nile region has impounded drugs worth Shs 42million from private clinics, drug shops and pharmacies that operate illegally.

Some of the drug shops were discovered to be offering clinical services, contrary to what is being described in their operating licenses.

In the eleven days’ operation that started on 7th of this month, government drugs, those donated by NGOs to the refugee communities and those smuggled from Democratic Republic of Congo were found.

“Untrained persons were found operating in these drug shops, some drug shops were conducting un-clinical practices as they have not been licensed for clinical work and some were selling government drugs” Dr Emmanuel Umirambe, the West Nile regional Manager of National Drug Authority said.

It was worst in Nebbi district where a drug shop operator was found in possession of TB drugs, ten tins of Amoxillin, a microscope and many assorted medicines clearly labelled ‘Government of Uganda’ which were being valued at Shs 35million.

Currently, the operator of the drug shop is being detained at Nebbi Central police station after being charged with unlawful possession of classified drugs and carrying out business of a pharmacist without a license.

NDA managerNDA manager, West Nile region, Dr Emmanuel Umirambe speaking to journalists on Friday. PHOTO BY JOSEPH ODAMA

Arua district chairman, Mr Alfred Okuonzi suspects government health workers as people smuggling government drugs to private health facilities and called upon the public to report drug shops and clinics found selling government drugs.

Whereas Resident District Commissioner of Arua, Mr Festus Ayikobua suggests for NDA to arrest drug shop owners found selling government drugs so that they reveal how they get government drugs to be sold.

“It will not be good to only pick the drugs and leave these drug shop operators. It is these people who can tell us persons selling government drugs to clinic and drug shop operators” Ayikobua noted.

During the operation that covered nine districts of West Nile, 171 boxes of drugs were impounded from the closed drug shops and clinics.

Officials of NDA said the drugs will be destroyed if the owners do not turn up to legalize their operations with the authority.