ADJUMANI, UGANDA: The management of Adjumani Hospital is entangled in rancorous disagreement with KRISTO Group Uganda Limited over alleged supplies of expired medical laboratory re-agents worth shs6.5m.
The ongoing discrepancy trails the supplies of assorted medical laboratory supplies on September 9, 2021, which was duly received by the hospital stores officer after verification.
But in an over-the-top twist of events, the in-charge laboratory Adjumani hospital Draleke Augustine Paranza in his correspondence dated September 27, 2021, notified the Management of KRISTO about the expiry of assorted medical laboratory re-agents.
The re-agents which have allegedly expired include; Cobas C111 ALP, Cobas C111 AST, bilirubin total BLTs, and Total protein among others.
Draleke Augustine Paranza in his letter contents that upon loading the re-agents on the Chemistry Analyzer-Cobas machine, the electronic communication from the machine reveals that some of the re-agents have expired while others have short expiry dates, literally meaning they are due to expire. The Chemistry Analyzer-Cobas machine is used for testing liver and kidney functionality.
The Medical Superintendent Adjumani hospital Dr.Ambaku Michael on September 28, 2021, constituted a joint verification team from the office of the district health officer and his office and laboratory technicians to ascertain the status of the re-agents under inquiry.
A source from the verification team however notes that the work of the verification team hit a dead end because the team could not sufficiently explain on whether the over-10 years old Chemistry Analyzer machine is defective or whether the re-agents were not affected by temperature, duration, or storage.
The verification team were also tasked to come up with a report so that it will inform the decision of the medical superintendent of Adjumani hospital, Dr. Ambaku Michael. Nonetheless, the report is apparently pending.
The Assistant procurement officer Kristo Medical services Uzadio Christine, said indeed it is true the company was contracted by Adjumani district local government in September 2021, to supply assorted medical laboratory re-agents.
Uzadio Christine authoritatively said, she personally delivered the items at the stores of the district health office on September 9, 2021, and they were received by Pius Anzo a stores assistant.
The verification team, according to Uzadio Christine should have depended on the expiry dates on the re-agents which is 2022 and 2023 for some of the re-agents, but depending on the chemistry Analyzer machine is technically farfetched and not written in any manual of verification and inspections of drugs and medical supplies or even recorded is science books.
“When the team went extra mile and loaded the National Medical Stores supplied re-agents, the machine behaved the same leaving the verification team in utter disbelieve” Uzadio further disclosed.
Information obtained from the Audit department indicates, the contract was regularly awarded to KRISTO Group Uganda Limited in September under the UN Refugee Agency funded integration program, first-quarter financial 2021-2022.
Before delivery, as a mandatory procedure, the audit department insisted they, verified the consignment of the re-agents and have it cleared for payment, on why they decided to clear expired items, one of the officials said they diligently fulfilled what was required of them without breach of the law.
On whether the payment for the re-agents has been effected, but the focal person for integration program Draparaku John Bosco feigned ignorance, referring the matter to the assistant district health officer environmental health Manga Godfrey who is on a short leave.
National Drugs Authority Arua regional Office staff who volunteered information on the matter but preferred to remain off-record said in such a dilemma, the district should bring the matter to the attention of the national drugs regulating body so that it will be investigated cogently, as it could be an emerging racket of criminal manufacturers.
The Adjumani secretary for health Sabuni John has promised to get to the bottom of the matter since all the parties involved are defensive.
”For now I must confess that I have failed to form an opinion because the officers involved are using technical terms, and I hope the matter is settled in the best interest of the people of Adjumani or else heads will roll”.