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NDA appeals on counterfeit hepatitis B vaccines

By Lillian Namusoke Magezi

Added 15th March 2018 12:55 PM

Dealers have been urged to desist from purchasing drugs from unlicensed medicine suppliers

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Dealers have been urged to desist from purchasing drugs from unlicensed medicine suppliers

PIC: Some of the counterfeit hepatitis B vaccines that were confiscated. (Credit: Abdulkarim Ssengendo)

HEALTH | VACCINE

KAMPALA - The National Drug Authority (NDA) has disclosed that during the course of its duties, counterfeit Hepatitis B vaccines were discovered in eight private health facilities.

The facilities, both hospitals and clinics, include Mbarara Community Hospital, Devine Mercy, Mayanja Memorial Hospital and Family Doctors’ Clinic in Ntungamo. Others are Mbarara City Clinic, UMC Hospital in Bukoto Kampala, Malcom Healthcare in Kisaasi and Kampala Medical Chambers on Buganda Road.

In Uganda, the NDA is the body mandated to ensure the availability of essential, efficacious and cost-effective drugs to the public as a means of providing satisfactory healthcare. The authority is also tasked with safeguarding the appropriate use of drugs.  

A press release signed by the secretary to the authority, Donna Kusemererwa, also stated that they had further impounded more counterfeit hepatitis B vaccines from immunisation camps at Mbale Central Market. Others were recovered at the Mbarara University camp, which was run by Sanyu Medical Centre of Katabi- Entebbe.

Kusemererwa said NDA was conducting investigations to establish the source of the counterfeit vaccines. She added that all facilities found with the vaccines had bought them from unlicensed dealers with fake addresses on invoices/ receipts.

Some suspects have been arrested in relation to the matter and are currently being held police to assist with investigations while others recorded statements.

NDA has appealed to all healthcare practitioners/ providers and the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious drugs, dealers and drug outlets. Dealers have been urged to desist from purchasing drugs from unlicensed medicine suppliers.

Hepatitis

Hepatitis is a group of infectious diseases and the five known hepatitis viruses are types A, B, C, D and E.

According to the World Health organization (WHO), the virus causes acute and chronic liver disease and leads to the death of about 1.4 million people every year worldwide, mostly from hepatitis B and C.

Hepatitis B

According to WHO, Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease. The virus is transmitted through contact with blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person. It can be contracted through sexual intercourse and sharing needles.

Hepatitis B vaccine

Information from NDA shows that the hepatitis B vaccine is meant to be given to people without the virus to help them build immunity against the virus.

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