NAIROBI–The Pharmacy and Poisons Board is carrying out surveillance of health facilities in the Western Kenya region

The Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board has intensified crackdown of illegal and unlicensed health facilities in the Western Kenya region.

Speaking in Kisumu, the Director, Inspection, Surveillance and Enforcement, Jacinta Wasike, says since the exercise began, last Monday, they have apprehended 79 unregistered persons, operating illegal pharmacies in Western and Nyanza regions.

She said 36 of these unregistered health facilities are in Nyanza, and 46 in Western regions, respectively.

The Director said the board has found most of the proprietors had devised new tricks, where unqualified medical personnel were running such health facilities, despite their registration indicating that they are legally registered.

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Most of the outlets have absentee superintendents, whereby we find that their premises have been licensed by the Pharmacy board, but the professionals running them are not there, she said.

Dr Wasike said the board has unveiled a health code, where members of the public can verify the authenticity and legality of the health facilities before they seek their services.

We are encouraging members of the public to verify this by sending SMS to 21031 to health code to PT 6210, and you will get the information about that chemist aand who is the professionals in that premises, she added.

The Inspection Surveillance and Enforcement said they have directed pharmacies that may have expired drugs to safely quarantine those drugs and inform inspectors from their regions for safe disposal.

She said a team of inspectors are combing the region to ensure safety and efficacy of drugs on sale in pharmacies and that clinics in operation are manned by qualified medical personnel.

We train professionals on how to identify if they come across poor quality drugs, and we have hotlines that clients can call and we are able to investigate and get back to them on the product” she added.

Dr Wasike said already the government has set up laboratories in various regions in the country, sample randomly drugs to ensure their safety, and called for closer collaboration from all stakeholders to tame the menace.