Gov’t threatens to close Private clinics offering Hepatitis B vaccination

Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng

Legislators have directed an immediate stop in Hepatitis B vaccination by private health facilities.

The directive was made by the Parliament Committee on Health following the discovery of what the National Drug Authority termed as “fake” vaccines on the market.

The Committee chaired by Hon. Michael Bukenya (NRM, Bukuya), Wednesday, 14 March 2018, met officials from NDA, the human and animal drugs regulator, who agreed with the MPs position.

“Private health facilities should stop vaccinating and the public should only use public health facilities,” said Dr. Bukenya.

NDA impounded the vaccines from eight private health facilities both in Kampala and upcountry including Family Doctors Clinic in Ntungamo; UMC Hospital, Bukoto; Malcolm Health Care, Kisaasi and Kampala Medical Chambers. The others were Mbarara Community Hospital, Devine Mercy, Mbarara City Clinic and Mayanja Memorial Hospital.

MPs asked the NDA Board, whether they had tested the impounded drugs to find out their chemical composition and the effect on people.

“Is this drug dangerous? What are the effects of the drug to the publics that have already received it?, Hon Sizomu Rabbi Wambede (FDC, Bungokho North) wondered.

NDA Board Chairman, Dr. Medard Bitekerezo said that NDA found the “fake” vaccines on the market and was in the process of testing the drugs to ascertain their chemical composition.

“The public should continue with their vaccinations in the public health facilities,” said Dr. Bitekyerezo.

“We have confiscated the fake drugs in question and the testing process has begun. In the meantime vaccination in private facilities should be stopped,” Bitekerezo added.

He also said that NDA is investigating the source of the drugs currently circulating on the Ugandan market.

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