WHO officials in the country to review NDA drugs handling processes

By Alice Lubwama
A team of experts from world health organization is in Uganda for five days to conduct an assessment of the regulatory system of National Drug Authority.

The sixteen man team headed by Sillo Hiiti will assess the registration of drugs and variation of registered products, check on the Inspection and licensing of pharmacies, drug shops and local pharmaceutical manufacturers.

The team will also benchmark on how Uganda National Drug Authority has dealt with those who do not comply with the required standards, and how inspection of consignments of pharmaceutical products at ports of entry into Uganda such as Malaba, Busia, Nakawa and Entebbe is done.

They will assess how the regulatory body controls clinical trials, publications and advertisement relating to drugs.

They will be looking at the system used by National Drug Authority to monitor the quality and efficiency of drugs on the market and how samples from ports of entry into Uganda, pharmacies, drug shops and confiscated drug products are tested.

The head of the assessment team Siilo Hiiti noted that the objective of the assessment is not to only to identify the gaps for improvement but will also recommend the good practices National Drug Authority has in place.

He affirms that the assessment exercise has been done in other countries including Rwanda, Tanzania, Ghana,Nigeria and Uganda is the fifth country in the continent to be assessed.

Launching the exercise, the chairman board Uganda National Drug Authority Dr Medard Bitekyerezo asked the assessment team not to leave any stone untouched since the authority staffs is well facilitated to do the work.

Bitekyerezo said if a wonderful audit of the system is made by WHO, it will give them a room for improvement.

“Let truth come out because a very wonderful audit will give us information that we are not doing well and this gives us room for improvement.’’ Bitekyerezo said

The executive secretary National Drug Authority, David Nahamya said that it is an honor for the authority to be subjected to an international assessment by experts drawn from other National drug regulatory agencies and WHO experts globally to alert them on gaps they need to work upon and attain regulatory excellence.

Nahamya has also applauded World Health Organization for the continued support in terms of laboratory equipment, training of its staff, hence the excellence of the Authority.