By Taddeo Bwambale and Juliet Waiswa
Pharmacies, drug shops and health facilities operating without valid licenses are to be closed in a countrywide operation that starts on Friday.
A multi-agency operation that starts in Kampala seeks to establish whether the health facilities meet the minimum national health standards.
The inspectors will approve health facilities that have the right staffing levels, relevant diagnostic equipment and premises suitable for their operations.
The inspection team comprises officials from Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), National Drug Authority (NDA), Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Council, Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council and the Allied Health Professionals’ Council.
KCCA’s acting director of public health and environment, Dr Daniel Okello, explained at a press briefing at City Hall on Thursday that facilities that fall short on the standards would be closed and their proprietors prosecuted in courts of law.
Drug vendors who sell their merchandise on the street, in buses and other unlicensed facilities are also targeted in the operation that seeks to rid the health profession of masqueraders.
The NDA executive secretary, Dr. Gordon Ssematiko said pharmacies and drug shops that have not yet renewed their licences for the year 2014 will also be closed.