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NDA initiatives stifled by lack of govt funding

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd October 2013 04:17 PM

Lack of government funding towards the National Drug Authority (NDA) is hurting the war on counterfeit drugs, according to officials.

NDA initiatives stifled by lack of govt funding

Lack of government funding towards the National Drug Authority (NDA) is hurting the war on counterfeit drugs, according to officials.

By Patrick Jaramogi

Lack of government funding towards the National Drug Authority (NDA) is hurting the war on counterfeit drugs, according to officials.

The NDA Executive secretary Gordon Sematiko Katende described the drug regulatory body as “cash strapped’ and limping.

He also said the lack of a board to steer NDA into the future was another challenge the authority is facing .

“We don’t get any funding from government. We solely rely on revenues from inspection fees.

We have not had a substantive board for the last two years thus drastically affecting the smooth operations of NDA,” Sematiko told Health Minister for general duties Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye.

Sematiko who was speaking at the end of a three day Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) training workshop for drug inspectors and pharmacists noted that due to poor funding, NDA was also understaffed.

“Since we don’t have a board to approve recruitments our staffing currently stands at 60 percent. The 40 percent is absent. Majority have left and there has been no recruitment in recent years,” he said.

He noted the Ministry of Health owes NDA over sh3b in un-cleared dues for tests carried out on condoms, mosquito nets and other drugs.

State minister for Health General Duties, Elioda Tumwesigye acknowledged that NDA was not doing well in terms of government financing. “We know NDA is underfunded and doesn’t get funds from government, but Government doesn’t have enough money but we shall push for a vote to fund NDA,” he said.

He however said that NDA was not “limping” but just facing financial challenges.

Tumwesigye who represented Health Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda said they would soon come up with a new board of NDA.

“The board is actually three people so I don’t see why it should take this long to name them, we shall sit with my senior and name a new board soon,” he said.

He pointed out that drug inspectors should be paid highly since they meet a lot of temptations while in the field. “If you don’t pay them well they will get bribes from the field and don’t carry out the duty of ensuring quality drugs in the market,” he said.

 

NDA initiatives stifled by lack of govt funding

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