Chitipa health workers faulted for fueling drug theft

Health workers in Chitipa district have been blamed for being in the forefront in stealing drugs and other medical supplies in some of the public health facilities.

This is according to Chitipa District Medical Officer Dr Victor Matumbo who was speaking on Tuesday after a Stakeholders Medicine and Medical Supplies Theft and Pilferage training in Mzuzu.

Dr Matumbo said it is sad to note that theft of drugs and other medical equipment by health officers is still rampant in Chitipa, a development which he said needs to be put to rest.

He said reports indicate that out of all the reported medicine theft cases that had taken place, 25% of staff members in the district had had a hand in it.

“Drugs that are stolen are government supplies that are freely given. As such, there is need to closely work together with community members as whistleblowers to combat the malpractice which has been rated to be significant compared to other districts,” said Dr Matumbo.

He then commended the training opportunity claiming it will be an eye opener, fruitful and important for it highlighted practical situations for improved drug management.

The training which was organized by the Drug Theft Investigations Unit (DTIU) under Ministry of Health and Population with support from Global Fund brought together district level stakeholders health personnel, police and media.

The development comes few months after Health minister Jappie Mhango issued a stern warning on drug theft by health workers in the country saying the malpractice undermines government’s efforts in delivery of quality health services.

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