By Violet Nabatanzi
Government is in the process of transforming the National drug Authority (NDA) into a National food and medicines Authority.
According to the Health Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, under its new mandate, the organization will among others include food, medical devices and other items as defined under the new law.
“The new law will expand the mandate of NDA; it will also be responsible for issues to do with both food and drugs. The focus is to ensure that people get quality drugs and food which is appropriate,” he said while inaugurating the 5th NDA Board at their headquarters in Kampala.
Rugunda urged the members on board to work with the other regulators in the health sector to achieve their objectives.
The new board will be chaired by the former director general of health services at the ministry of health Dr. Sam Zaramba. Other members on board include Mulago hospital deputy executive director Dr. Doreen Male, director general of health services Dr. Jane Aceng, Dr. Grace Nambatya, Jamil Mukwaya, Raymond Agaba, Grace Akullo and Dr James Makumbi among others.
Rugunda said "there have been some disagreements in the past in a number of areas, I urge you to be rational and seek for partnerships and enable such partnerships support the cause of health for the people.”
NDA Executive secretary Gordon Sematiko said the authority has managed to crackdown operations on unscrupulous operators to ensure that only safe, quality and efficacious medicines are available for use.
Sematiko said last month they carried out an operation in areas of Kitintale, Kikoni, Kawempe, Banda, Kirinya, Kawala, Kasokoso, Luzira, Bweyogerere, Mutungo, Kireka, Mpererwe and Kanyanya and 234 drug outlets were visited. They impounded drugs from 176 drug outlets and 124 of these were illegal drug shops.
He added that in the same month they also visited 119 drug outlets in the areas of Najjanankumbi, Namasuba, Busabala, Massaja, Kawempe, Kisaasi and Mulago among others, they managed to impound drugs from 93 drug outlets.