Government to burn 1500 tons of expired drugs

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

, Featured

Government is set to dispose between 1200 to 1500 tons of drugs that have expired and others that have become obsolete.

According to Dr.Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, the drugs and other health supplies are from 6619 health centres across the country.

“This process will create more space for more adequate storage of medicines and other health supplies delivered by the National Medical Stores and Joint Medical Store,”Atwine told journalists at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala on Monday.

The Health Ministry Permanent Secretary said there is a growing concern in the country over expired pharmaceuticals which she noted can result into a national risk.

“Disposing of the drugs will help prevent the risk of public health hazards, pilferage and relabeling as a result of keeping them in health facilities for long.”

There have always been concerns in many parts of the country where health facilities lack drugs and many patients have lost their lives due to the problem.

Last month, residents of Nakisunga sub county in Mukono district demand for the closure of Seeta Nazigo health centre III due to shortage of perennial drugs at the facility.

However, according to Atwine,it is naturally expected  that about five percent of pharmaceuticals  in the distribution chain are bound to end up as obsolete or expired.

Cost

Government, according to the health ministry officials will have to pay a contracted service provider so as to help carry out the work of incinerating the expired drugs and other health supplies.

Dr. Atwine however noted that existing National Medical Stores will use its existing logistics system to collect the expired drugs from various health facilities across the country.

The move by the health ministry to dispose of expired drugs may raise a number of concerns from the public because many health centres and facilities don’t have enough drugs especially in rural areas which has led to many deaths.

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