Two hospitals in Bunyoro sub region are stuck with expired drugs that have not been disposed of for almost three years.
The expired drugs are in Masindi General Hospital and Kagadi General Hospital in Masindi and Kagadi districts respectively.
The issue of the expired drugs came onto the spotlight in the Auditor General’s report of the financial year 2015/2016. Auditor General John Muwanga asked why expired drugs were dumped in an open space at Masindi General Hospital something that may cause danger to human beings.
A similar query was raised again at Kagadi General Hospital in the then Kibaale district where expired drugs were found in the store and the hospital administration cited lack of transport to take them away for disposal.
The Auditor General advised the two hospitals to liaise with the National Medical Stores-NMS to find ways of collecting these expired drugs.
Last week, Parliament’s local government accounts Committee sent away the officials from the current Kibaale district led by John Nyakahuma, the Chief Administrative Officer, because they were unable to answer for Kagadi Hospital which is now in the newly created Kagadi district. By the time of the audit, Kibaale has not yet been split into three to create Kagadi and Kakumiro districts.
The committee chaired by Aswa County MP Regan Okumu ordered the officials to appear at the next convenient review meeting together with the former CAO of Kibaale, the district health officer of Kagadi and the Medical Superintendent of Kagadi hospital to explain how they have handled the expired drugs.
Dr. James Olowo, the Medical Superintendent of Kagadi hospital has confirmed to URN that the expired drugs are still in the hospital but declined to explain what action has so far been taken.
Dr. Olowo, who doubles as the District Health Officer for Kagadi district, also declined to reveal the value and description of the expired drugs saying he would be pre-empting the explanation he is set to give to the parliamentary committee when invited.
In Masindi hospital, Dr. George Bateganya, the medical superintendent confirmed to URN that there were drugs and disposables tins that were found dumped in an open place by the auditors.
Dr. Bateganya reveals that the hospital had burnt those thought to be less harmful. He says that the said drugs that weigh less than 10kg were ruminant supplies for the Ebola isolation centre that was at the hospital when the deadly virus struck the country.
Now, the medical superintendent says that the Masindi district council is planning to contact the national drugs incinerator in Nakasongola district.
Dan Kimosho, the spokesperson of the National Medical Stores-NMS when contacted told URN that it is not their mandate to collect expired drugs in health facilities they supply to.
Kimosho says that the NMS has been seeking at least 300 million Shillings to be used in collecting expired drugs and incinerating them saying they have only done it to a few hospitals as part of social responsibility.