Hospital dispenses expired drugs to children

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Phalombe health centre earlier this month gave expired malaria drugs to patients at its under-five clinic, Malawi24 can report.

Investigations into the matter have revealed that children who were tested malaria positive on the dates between 1st June and 8th June this year were given expired anti-malaria drug Lumefantrine Artemether (LA).

Bwaila-hospital-Lilongwe

Patients were given expired anti-malaria drugs at Phalombe health centre.(File)

According to a LA blister pack containing drugs that were dispensed and which Malawi24 has seen, the drugs got expired in the month of March this year which was a few days after the district had destroyed some drugs.

When asked if he had realised that drugs which his child consumed were already expired, a father to one of the victims who opted not to be named told this publication that he noticed two days into the dosage.

The following morning of the day we got the drugs we noticed that the condition of the child was worsening which was not a case in the past when he took LA dosage.

Then I took the pack to check if we had not followed the instructions and in the course of reading that is when I noticed that the drugs had already expired,” he said.

When asked about the matter, District Health Officer (DHO) for Phalombe, Ketwin Kondowe, admitted that indeed the issue is true but he was quick to say that it could be because of human error.

You are right and it’s true that expired LA drugs were dispensed especially in the under-five clinic department.

They expired on 31st March 2018 and it might be because of human error as they could be checked before giving them to people,Kondowe said in his response.

Meanwhile, number and particulars of the children who consumed these drugs are yet to be known and authorities do not know what to do.

According to the DHO, the issue is very serious since expired drugs can affect the patients.

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2 Comments

  1. this type of carelessness needs to stop and a swift action needs to be considered by the minister of health if the Malawi govt really takes serious about the lives of its people.How can pple working under an oath act in such a risky manner.
    Investigations must be made n find out how many kids received that poison during those specific dates,trace the folders at the hospital for more info then find out how many kids died as a result of such irresponsibility, A package must be organised by the govt to console the affected families for lives lost and incoviniences made to the families due to such laziness.Don’t play pple those who want to play must find a place to do that not with people’s lives

  2. How can a well trained Pharmacist and Clinical Officer / Doctor make such an error? Those involved must be disciplined. There is a possibility that some children have lost their lives because of this.

    It was the same Phalombe Hospital where a woman delivered in the drain because of the negligence of medical personnel. There must be something wrong at Phalombe District Hospital.

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