Kenya to monitors import and export of controlled substances online

In Summary

• The NDS was put in place to ensure that medical products containing controlled drugs are available for patients and that the control regime prevents the diversion of these controlled drugs into illegal channels.

• Initially it was done through paper work but a lot of documents could get lost along the way, compromising on tracking and traceability.

Launch of Licit Control Unit NDS system by PPB CEO Dr Fred Siyoi at the PPB offices
Launch of Licit Control Unit NDS system by PPB CEO Dr Fred Siyoi at the PPB offices
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

Importers and exporters of medical products containing controlled substances such as narcotics  will now do their business online.

This is after the Poisons Board finalised the testing of the National Drug Control System (NDS) software.

The NDS was developed by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to control narcotics, psychotropics and precursor chemical substances globally.

 
 
 

Psychotropics are drugs administered to help people with mental illness.

Drug precursors on the other hand are chemicals that are primarily used for the legal production of a wide range of products, like medicine, perfumes, plastics and cosmetics.However, they can also be misused for the illicit production of drugs such as methamphetamines, heroin or cocaine.

The NDS was put in place to ensure that medical products containing controlled drugs are available for patients and that the control regime prevents the diversion of these controlled drugs into illegal channels.

Initially it was done through paper work but a lot of documents could get lost along the way, compromising on tracking and traceability.

We signed the contract in November last year and from January we have been testing the system to ensure the software and servers are working well,” the PPB CEO Fred Siyoi said.

Pilot testing of the system will begin immediately with a few selected companies and establishments.

“Next steps will now involve extensive training staff and stakeholders who will be using the system.”

 
 
 

This makes Kenya the first country in Africa to fully implement the use of the system as recommended by the International Narcotics Control Board.

Other countries with the system are Canada, Finland, Switzerland, Australia, Brazil and UK.

“For the past two weeks we have been testing this and now that we have been certified to be up to the speed, we have now moved from the test to the production phase,” Siyoi added.

The web interface enables users to access all the functionality of NDS and data from member countries who have signed the treaties for controlling licit products.

“By implementing this system, PPB has created unlimited opportunities for traders in licit products to access any market in the world using PPB permits,” Siyoi said.

The board began with the signing of the Service Level Agreement in November last year and the installation of the pre-production edition in January 2019.

It is the responsibility of Users to ensure that their log-in details are held securely and are not disclosed to unauthorised users.