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NDA Closes 270 Illegal Drug Shops, Recovers Shs109M Gov’t Drugs

National Drugs Authority-NDA has closed an estimated 270 illegal drug shops in Northern Uganda, URN reports

This follows an impromptu crackdown on illegal drug shops conducted in the 16 districts in the region within the past week.  

The operation covered the districts of Gulu, Pader, Kitgum, Nwoya, Lamwo, Agago, Omoro, Kole, Kwania, Apac, Oyam, Amolatar, Lira, Otuke, Dokolo and Alebtong.     

NDA also impounded 312 boxes of assorted human drugs estimated at Shillings 109 million during the operation. The drugs were embossed with the Government of Uganda logo and not meant for sale.

David Kagwa, the Drug Inspector for Northern region, says the closed drug outlets were either unlicensed or being operated by unqualified personnel.  

He says most of the drug operators were also found mixing the sale of drugs with clinical work yet they are not qualified.

Samuel Kyamokama, the Head of Enforcement NDA, says four suspected illegal drug operators were apprehended and handed over to police for further management. 

The suspects are Sambo Okello who was found hawking veterinary drugs in Mitacho market in Oyam, Patrick Kilama who was found in possession of government drugs in Agago district, Daniel Opio and Nancy Ajok who were found selling government drugs in Kwania district.

Police has preferred charges of being in possession of government stores against the suspects. 

Kyamokama says they have intensified their operation against illegal drug outlets.  
Fredrick Ssekyama, the NDA Spokesperson says they have so far conducted operations in five different regions of the country including, Eastern, West Nile, Central and Northern. 

He said they have cumulatively recovered about 764 boxes of assorted government drugs estimated at over Shillings 294M shillings from over 454 illegal outlets in the five regions.

Dr. Patrick Buchan Ochen, the Lira District Health Officer, says several illegal drug shops are in existence.  He urged the Authority to intensify operations against the vice.

According to Ochen, a 73-year-old woman in Ogur Sub County lost her hearing sense after she was treated for Brucellosis by unqualified personnel in an illegal drug shop.

In 2018, National Drugs Authority registered and licensed about 1600 drug shops in Northern Uganda.

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