The National Medical Stores suppliers have decried the poor handling and reception of drugs delivered to Wakiso District which they say is putting t the drugs at risk of getting spoilt before they reach end-users.
Medical supplier soaked by heavy downpour.
The National Medical Stores (NMS) suppliers have decried the poor
handling and reception of drugs delivered to Wakiso District which they say is
exposing the drugs before they reach end-users.
On Thursday afternoon, the suppliers were stunned as the
drugs which had been delivered were soaked in the afternoon heavy downpour that was
experienced in the area.
Amos Okareb, one of the suppliers notes that over time they
have cautioned the district health authorities to get them a better place where
they can offload the drugs before they are finally stored.
“The supply chain has conditions, for example, we cannot let
drugs in the scorching sunshine but here drugs at times spend hours exposed to
sunshine as we verify the cartons with the storekeeper. Today, it rained and
everything was messed,” says Okareb
By midday, a total of four trucks carrying over 3000 cartons
of drugs arrived at the district headquarters where the drugs of over
90 health facilities are accounted for before it is distributed to the
respective units across the district.
As the entire stock was offloaded from the truck, it started
raining and some cartons of fragile drugs were seen falling off the different
piles. Okareb only identified as Jackie says they
couldn’t manage the situation at hand well.
“We couldn’t take the drugs instead the store before registering them and when it
started raining nothing could be done,” said the storekeeper.
Okareb notes that although the packages were soaked with rain water, most
the drugs were not affected since they are sealed in polythene materials.
“The standard recommendation of most of these supplies is to
keep them in a cool, dry area. Then, take the example of those which have been
falling, if there are fragile materials then that is already damage," he explains. Several Pharmaceutical manufacturers recommend most of their
products to be stored at a controlled room temperature of 68 to 77 degrees.
When contacted, the district health officer Dr. Mathias Lugoloobi,
noted that he had gone to collect his children from school but had delegated
somebody to ensure that the drugs are safely stored in the designated place.
The District Vice Chairperson Elizabeth Naluyima admitted
that the matter of providing at least all-weather shade for drug offloading
area has been discussed at a given point but it was not prioritized.
“I admit that we have not done enough even after being
informed by the drug suppliers. It has been a weakness but we are going to
handle the matter so that we don’t experience such a situation in future,”
Naluyina told URN.
In the same development, suppliers also decry the security
of drugs during the offloading period as at times they are spread out in the
parking area which is open to the general public making it easier for someone
to sneak and steal some of the supplies during the process.