Police in Mchinji district are keeping in custody two men and a woman for operating private clinics illegally and selling government drugs.
Mchinji Police spokesperson Inspector Kaitano Lubrino identified the suspects as Chrissy Kingsley, 48, Michael Aaron, 69, and Limited Limbani, 81, who were arrested separately during wee hours of Tuesday in Mchinji.
“As one way of regulating and curbing drug thefts in government hospitals the police in conjunction with officials from Pharmacy, Medicines and Poisons Board (PMPB) raided the premises of the suspects at Bua, Nthema, and Chikoloka trading centres,” said Lubrino.
Police conducted search in the suspects’ houses where they discovered and impounded assorted drugs believed to have been for sale.
The trio were found with injections, tablets, solutions, capsules, suspension creams, and lotions worth millions of Kwachas.
According to Joseph Chimerang’ambe, a drug inspector for PMPB, the suspects have no medical background hence compromising quality, efficiency, and potency of the equipment as stipulated in storage conditions.
Chimerang’ambe said the drugs were also hazardous to people since the suppliers have inadequate knowledge as regard to their indications, dosage regimen, contraindications as well as interactions with other drugs.
“This malpractice may contribute to lack of essential medicines in government hospitals, loss of donor confidence in our health delivery system, and drugs expiring before their indicated expiry dates,” said Chimerang’ambe.
The three suspects will appear before court to answer three charges; the first is illegal possession of medical drugs which is contrary to Section 45 of the Pharmacy, Medicines and Poisons Board Act of 1998.
The other charges are being found in possession of medical drugs suspected to have been unlawfully acquired from government institution and operating illegal clinics contrary to section 59 of the Medical Practitioner and Dentist Act.
Kingsley hails from Chikoloka village, Senior Traditional Authority Simphase, Aaron hails from Nthema Village, Traditional Authority Dambe both from Mchinji while Limbani comes from Kapichi village, Traditional Authority Kapichi in Thyolo.