Deputy Minister of Health Halima Daud has urged the Judiciary to mete out stiff sentences to those found stealing drugs in public hospitals.
Speaking in an interview in Lilongwe on Monday after receiving a consignment of drugs worth K124 million ($344 911) from World Vision International, Daud said people who are stealing and diverting drugs are doing huge disservice to the nation.
“We are tightening all loopholes and I want to urge the police to nab all those reported and proven to divert medicines and supplies from hospitals and health centres for self enrichment and once caught, they should be given tough sentences,” said Daud.
World Vision Malawi national director Marko Ngwenya said the drugs were sourced through Gift in Kind, a form of donation from World Vision supporting partners and comprise of 4 900 000 tablets of Albendanzole, 2 500 000 tablets of Praziquantel, 200 000 vitamin tablets, 388 800 Zinc Sulphate tablets and 81 600 ORS sachets.
Ngwenya said his organisation is ready to give government more drugs once the two institutions have a contract to work together in health services.
“We met government officials last Friday where we discussed the possibility of providing more drugs. They have already given us the kinds of drugs needed and the amount and once we finalise everything we are ready to give them the drugs,” said Ngwenya.
He could not, however, give figures on how much World Vision will spend on the new consignment saying officials are working on them.
Recently, World Vision launched a three-year strategy whose main objectives include nourishment of children especially those under two years of age.