16 charged with operating illegal chemists in Nakuru

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JOSEPH OPENDA

By JOSEPH OPENDA
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Sixteen people were on Monday charged with operating illegal pharmacies within Nakuru County.

Appearing before Principal Magistrate Bernard Mararo in Nakuru, the suspects were charged with masquerading as pharmacists and operating businesses without licenses from the Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board (KPPB).

Others were charged with being in possession of drugs without licences from KPPB, contrary to the provisions of the Pharmacy and Poisons Board Act.

Mr Daniel Kiago was charged with carrying out an unregistered pharmacy business in Lanet area and unlawfully handling drugs.

Ms Scholastica Kwamboka was charged with running an unregistered pharmacy business at Kaptembwa.

The suspects, however, denied the charges and were released on Sh20,000 bond with sureties of similar amounts or an alternative cash bail of Sh10,000.

The suspects were arrested on May 26 during a crackdown on unregistered health facilities.

On May 15, the board launched a 90-day countrywide crackdown on unregistered pharmacies.

KPPB chairman Dr Jackson Kioko said all facilities that lack the requisite standards and those manned by quacks would be targeted.  

“The country is going to be subjected to a rigorous inspection of all public and private health facilities including the chemists, nursing homes and laboratories to ensure that all of them offer safe services to the public,” said Dr Kioko.

Dr Onesmus Saidimu, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board inspector in charge of Nakuru region said the board had employed a new inspection strategy which includes operating outside working hours.

“We realised that most illegal chemists operate late in the evening and over the weekends when the inspectors are not on duty. We made an impromptu raid on Sunday and arrested 16 suspects,” said Dr Saidimu.

Additional reports by Kate Wanderi and Geoffrey Ondieki



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