Busia is facing substantial losses as medicine valued at millions of shillings is believed to have been damaged due to a rainstorm at the district headquarters. The incident has raised concerns over negligence in handling essential medical supplies.
The medicine consignment had been delivered by National Medical Stores (NMS) personnel at Busia district headquarters just last Saturday. Two NMS trailers transported the drugs, which were intended for distribution to facilities including Masafu Hospital and lower health centers within the district.
In response to this apparent negligence, five individuals, including two NMS staff members, were arrested on the orders of the Resident District Commissioner, Michael Kibwika, and were detained at the Busia Police Station.
The district health officer, Dr. Matthias Wabwire, also recorded a statement at the Busia police station regarding the incident.
The consequences of this mishap are significant, as the majority of health facilities in Busia are currently grappling with drug shortages. The last delivery from NMS to the district occurred four months ago, exacerbating the situation.
To address the crisis, district leaders, led by John Mulimba, the Regional Cooperation State Minister, convened an urgent meeting to manage the situation. During the meeting, NMS Mbale Regional Manager, Apolo Munanura, emphasized the importance of verifying the medicine consignment by the district health officer and their team before transport to health facilities.
Key district leaders, including security officials, politicians, and technical staff, criticized NMS for failing to provide notifications when delivering medicines. Resident District Commissioner Michael Kibwika highlighted a recent incident when mosquito nets were delivered without any prior notice, causing difficulties in locating the supplies.
As of the current reporting time, the Bukedi South Regional Police Commander, Julius Tusingwire, and his team, along with District Police Commander Didas Byaruhanga, were questioning NMS and relevant district officials. The wet boxes containing medicines remained stored in the untidy district medical store, which is currently undergoing renovation following a fire earlier this year.