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The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine, has asked members of the public to refrain from consuming medicines that have not been prescribed by qualified doctors.

While officiating at the official opening of the PNFP Supply Chain Partners Conference held at the Africana Hotel in Kampala, Atwine noted that there are reports of antimicrobial resistance among the population, mainly caused by the unsupervised or excessive use of drugs.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change over time and no longer respond to drugs, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of spreading disease. serious illness and death.

“We have to use the medicine very well because it has been established that most people just buy medicine and take it without a prescription. As physicians, we need to deploy science to identify influential drugs that should be added to our priority list as we phase out those that are no longer effective,” Atwine said.

She also expressed the need to engage more in the prevention of the disease than in the treatment, noting that the latter is expensive.

“We spend billions of money to treat malaria, yet malaria is one of the preventable diseases. We spend billions of money on HIV which can also be prevented, cancer can be detected at an early stage and prevented but its treatment is so expensive,” she added.

Regarding the implementation of the 10-year health supply chain roadmap, Atwine said Uganda should start manufacturing its own medicine rather than relying on foreign countries; giving an example from the covid-19 period when developed countries took care of their citizens first, leaving developing countries like Uganda to suffer the wrath of limited access to medicines and supplies.

Dr. Bildard Baguma, Executive Director of Joint Medical Store (JMS) who hosted the meeting, revealed that this conference attracted partners from several health facilities in the country, UN agencies and others to discuss ways by which they will unite their efforts to ensure an adequate and adequate medical supply in the establishments.

Dr Diana Atwiine with some of the stakeholders who participated in the engagement.

Dr. Ronald Kasiraba, Executive Secretary of Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau (UCMB), commended the government for its continued support in providing equipment and technical expertise.

“As one of the ways to eliminate person-to-person contact which is the main source of corruption, we have already finalized a plan to move all Ministry of Health procurement processes online,” he said. said Joshua Akandwanaho, who represented the executive director of NIRA.

Dr Edison Muhwezi of UNFPA, one of the partners who attended the meeting, revealed that they not only provide support for the procurement of essential medicines, but help to ensure that this benefits the intended audience.