Anti-malaria drugs worth Shs7 million go missing

Martin Okudi | 16 Sep 2010
Daily Monitor
Police in Moyo are investigating the loss of 46 packets of coartem drugs worth Shs7 million, which went missing under unclear circumstances.

The drugs were destined to Aliba Health Centre II in Obongi County but were delivered to Obongi Health Centre IV. The receipt of the anti-malarials was reportedly signed by the in-charge, Dr Frank Tabule and two other staff identified as Mr Lianas Afayoa and Mr Stephen Kandaruku.

According to preliminary police investigations, the off-loading of drugs was witnessed by Mr Habibu Buga, the secretary for health on the August 3, after working hours. Since the disappearance of the drugs, the health centres in Obongi are facing shortage and patients are being told to buy drugs from shops.

Dr Tabule told Daily Monitor yesterday that he entrusted the drugs to two technical staff who later abandoned it to the health secretary at night. "I thought I had delegated the right persons who would deliver the drugs," he said. The acting district health officer, Dr Jimmy Opigo, said the drugs were delivered under wrong procedure. "Independent investigations will be done and the culprits will be brought to book," he added.

Dr Opigo, however, says 144 packets of the drugs are missing and not only 46, as recorded by the police. Efforts to get a comment from secretary for health were futile.