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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