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Medicines are hoarded – NMS

Some individuals in charge of supplies at health facilities hoard medicines for months with hopes of selling them illegally, Moses Kamabare, the general manager of National Medical Stores has said.

“Through the NMS last mile delivery of commodities, we ensure essential medicines and health supplies are delivered right to the doorstep of the health centers and the in-charge of the center receives and signs a delivery note confirming receipt of the supplies. However, we continue to receive reports of claims of absence of the medicines and supplies which we investigate only to find that they have been shelved for months with an agenda of selling the medicines and supplies yet they are not for sell,” Kamabare told a visiting team from the Inspectorate of Government on April 22.

The visit was meant to create awareness about NMS’ operations; challenges faced in executing its mandate and establish a working partnership with the Inspectorate of Government.

Kamabare further noted that some people obtain medicines from various facilities feigning sickness with the purpose of selling the medicines while some pharmacists prescribe medicines outside the health centers or in large quantities against the ministry of Health standard clinical guidelines thus causing harm to the health of the recipient.

“We have seen some people who pretend to fall sick and pick medicines which are not for sell from various public health facilities and they have made businesses out of this, selling to people even across the border. It is imperative that we therefore develop a system to monitor and track the amount of medicines people receive from any public health facility across the country because this affects the availability of medicines. We need to hold these perpetrators to account,” he said.

The Inspectorate of Government team comprising of director Leadership Code, Annet Twine, manager strategic partnerships and public relations Munira Ali, manager verifications, Amos Baguma and senior inspectorate officer, Pauline Nansamba were happy with the information shared and promised to support NMS in ensuring availability of medical supplies especially in the regional health centers.

Munira Ali called for partnership between the Inspectorate and NMS to hold recipients of the medical supplies to account.

“One of the things we do is monitor implementation of government programs but we’ve also done this through empowering communities. We have over 90,000 foot soldiers mostly in the northern part of the country and we want to see how we can actually work together to utilize these foot soldiers. We have a lot of experience working with them. When you deliver drugs, can you give them a copy of the medicines that have been delivered so that if there’s any issue, someone may even be able to approach them and ask them about the unavailable supplies and they can help
them to go and find out by demanding for information.”

In a letter addressed to NMS by Mariam Wangadya, deputy Inspector General of Government and presented by Twine noted that, “The health sector is one of the most scrutinized public service as it directly affects citizens’ right of life and it is for this reason that NMS must espouse the highest level of integrity in performance of their duties.

We are happy with the innovations NMS has put in place to promote efficiency in their work and also promote accountability and integrity. I encourage NMS to ensure that systems and procedures are transparent and that accountability is done in a timely manner.”

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