National Drugs Authority-NDA has closed an
estimated 270 illegal drug shops in Northern Uganda.
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
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
//Cue in: “There is a mix-up …
Cue out: …. that is not allowed,”//
Samuel Kyamokama, the Head of Enforcement NDA, says four
suspected illegal drug operators were apprehended and handed over to police for
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.
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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.
//Cue in: “Sometimes this people …
Cue out: ….toxic effect of the drugs,”//
In 2018, National Drugs Authority registered and licensed
about 1600 drug shops in Northern Uganda.