The Mbarara district Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday labeled National Medical Stores (NMS) the “delivery center of expired drugs.”
This unpleasant conclusion was arrived at by the committee chairperson Godwin Gumisiriza while reviewing the Mbarara Municipality Management performance.
The committee members said they had established that NMS dispatches drugs which are about to expire and by the time they are delivered to certain health units they are already expired.
Some of the medical officials interviewed by the committee, price including Clinical Officer Christine Bakunzi claimed they at times received from NMS drugs expiring in one month.
Ms Bakunzi added that drug delivery is not often done by trained NMS personnel, medicine which complicates the problem.
“The challenge we have NMS does not come to the ground itself, it hires a company which only has a driver who is not technical person to deliver drugs to the health facilities,” she said.
Committee members in response asked health officials in Mbarara to start rejecting drugs from NMS which have few days left on them.
“We are seeing NMS offloading their poor store management issues onto people. They are running away from getting caught with expired drugs in their stores,” said the committee chair.
In response however, the Mbarara Deputy town clerk Jaqueline who was appearing before the committee tried without success, to defend NMS stressing that they always deliver safe drugs and that those that are expired are disposed.
Ms Masamba was tasked by committee members to prove this with documents which she couldn’t.
Mr Gumisiriza said the decided to probe the drugs matter after finding out in the auditor general’s report that Mbarara Municipal Council had drugs in stock which were expired and others which were about to expire.