FOR how long will people continue to die due to the shortage of drugs when National Medical Stores (NMS) is stocked with medicine?
By Pascal Kwesiga and Violet Nabatanzi
FOR how long will people continue to die due to the shortage of drugs when National Medical Stores (NMS) is stocked with medicine? Why has it taken long for the Government to find the missing link?
These are the questions officials from Pan African Movement –Uganda Chapter asked after establishing that NMS warehouses are teeming with drugs.
The officials were shocked to hear from NMS general manager Moses Kamabale that the institution was running out of storage space for medicine, with huge containers of newly procured drugs waiting to be off-loaded outside.
Kamabale informed the team that more ten containers of drugs had just been cleared by Uganda Revenue Authority in Nakawa.
He led the officials through the warehouses where they found boxes containing all sorts of medicine and vaccines.
“The medicine you are seeing here is meant to be used this financial year which is about to end, but our stores are still full. The problem is not here because we have been delivering all medicines as requested by health facilities,” Kamabale explained. He denied recent media reports that the country had run out of vaccines for babies.
“We have never run out of medicine and vaccines. May be they run out of hospitals and we don’t get orders to deliver them,” he said.
As a way of addressing the problem, he said the health ministry had directed them to supply drugs to health facilities that delay to submit requisitions after a certain period.
“We will not assume that there are no patients in your health centre. We have been allowed to deliver medicines using old orders,” Kamabale added.
The general manager of National Medical Stores (NMS) Kamabare (in orange jacket) shows the members of Pan African Movement a fully drug packed store up to the ceiling level, plus drugs in the cold store room, during the visit to the warehouse at Entebe on May 21, 2013. Cancer drug and rabies vaccine are kept in the cold room. Photos by Francis Emorut
Medical stores f illed with unclaimed drugs