The Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has said the public must be vigilant because the process to retrieve defective and unauthorized condoms that were recently found on the Ugandan market is not yet complete.
Dr. Ruth Aceng said 5 percent of the 4 million substandard Life Guard condoms that were imported and distributed by Marie Stopes Uganda are still on the market as efforts to recall all, continue.
The minister’s remarks were part of her statement to parliament on Tuesday afternoon following a concern raised by Kasambya county MP Hon. Gaffa Mbwa Tekamwa on 20th November 2019, demanding an explanation how substandard condoms accessed the Uganda market without being detected by product standard agencies.
Hon. Mbwa also wanted to know the risks the defective condoms posed to unsuspecting users. He claimed he was a victim of the fake condoms.
The minister told parliament that ever since the recall was initiated, 95 percent of defective condoms has so far been recovered and destroyed, while the NDA inspectors are still in the field trying to recover the remaining 5 percent.
The minister told parliament that condoms are usually subjected to mandatory analysis by National Drug Authority (NDA) quality control laboratory before they are released to the market, but a pharmacist at NDA Ojambo Godfrey released the condoms on the pretext that they had been cleared, whereas not.
Dr. Aceng said teams from NDA and Marie Stope are conducting surveillance to retrieve the rest of the condoms still on the market, and the public is informed to be vigilant while drug shop owners and pharmacists have been requested to return any such condom should they be found.
She said, the authorities at Marie Stopes have since suspended the Director Corporate Affairs Fred Balongo and Kahoro who were in charge of supervision of the process to confirm standard of the condoms. She said investigations into release of unauthorized Life Guard condoms into the market are ongoing, and those found at fault shall face the law under the provisions of the NDA Act.