Vaccine Fraud – Ministry of Health Clears Health Facilities

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By Andrew Muliisa

During its routine
post-marketing surveillance, the National Drug Authority (NDA) encountered
falsified Hepatitis B vaccines at eight health facilities in Mbarara, Mbale,
Wakiso and Kampala districts. 

The affected facilities
are; Mbarara Community Hospital, Divine Mercy, Mayanja Memorial, Family Doctors
Clinic Ntungamo, Mbarara City Clinic, UMC Hospital Bukoto, Malcolm Health Care
Kisaasi, and Kampala Medical Chambers on Buganda Road. 

Health experts
administer Hepatitis B Vaccine to healthy people to immunize them against the
Hepatitis B Virus.

Sarah Opendi, the
Minister of Health for general duties says Government has stopped all other
private health facilities from administering the vaccine as investigations are
still going on.

“We shall advise
the public on other facilities that have been cleared for Hepatitis B
vaccination in two weeks,” Opendi says in a statement.

The Ministry of Health then
cleared the following private health facilities as providers of the vaccine;
Nsambya Hospital, Kibuli Hospital, Mengo Hospital, Rubaga Hospital,
International Hospital Kampala (IHK), Norvik Hospital, Case Hospital and
Nakasero Hospital.

Also, District Health
Officers (DHOs) and Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) have been instructed
to ensure that the directive stopping private facilities from administering the
vaccine is complied with.

However, Immunization of
children as part of the routine practice will continue. The Ministry has called
on the general public to be vigilant.
 
In Uganda, according to a statement from the Health Ministry, there are a
number of registered brands for Hepatitis B Vaccine for supply to Uganda from
various manufacturers worldwide represented by local pharmaceutical companies.
These include Biological E represented by Gittoes, Glaxo SmithKline represented
by Eris Ltd, Human Biologicals Institute represented by TATA (U), LG Life
Sciences, Sanofi Pasteur & Pasteur Merieux represented by Laborex, Serum
Institute of India represented by Norvik Enterprises, and Shantha Biotec
represented by Laborex.

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