Malawi installs CCTV cameras to combat drug theft

Malawi government says it has completed installing CCTV cameras at Central Medical Stores in a bid to fiercely combat rampant medical drugs in its public hospitals.

Ministry of Health spokesman: Chikumbe

Ministry of Health spokesman: Chikumbe

CCTV cameras

CCTV cameras

Ministry of Health spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe said in an interview that the next phase would be to install the CCTV cameras in central hospitals before rolling it out in district hospitals.

This announcement comes just a day after the US threatened to pull out its massive malaria drug aid package because of theft concerns, and if the US government withdraws the free malaria drug aid, over six million Malawians, especially children, would die each year due to malaria or its related diseases like shortage of blood in the body.

Chikumbe parried away allegations that the ministry was panicking following the US governmemt threats, saying the CCTV cameras at the Central Medical Stores were stored last year.

“As government, we have always been concerned about these thefts. This is why we are installing the CCTV cameras in drug storage facilities and pharmacies,” he said.

It is estimated that 25 percent of drugs in public hospitals are stolen mostly by clinicians.

“What we are doing is not a reaction to the US. We just want to be vigilant. We want this theft to come to an end,” he said.

He said a donor, whom he did not name is funding the project to an undisclosed amount, only saying it is a huge amount of money.

The US gives Malawi 95 percent of free malaria drug in public hospitals through the US president’s malaria initiative.

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62 thoughts on “Malawi installs CCTV cameras to combat drug theft”

  1. esync security solution -Chennai

  2. Muyao says:

    Athu akuda inu opanda nzeru,kukupasani makhwala kuba ?sono othandizawo aziti chani?kamuzu was not black muziwerenga athuokuda kutembereredwa basi.muyikepo zungu PA u vice or u president jobeki ukichita bwino chifukwa cha azungu Zambiaso inu makani ngat muli ndi zeru

  3. zikomo pondionetsa ku new york ndi misonko yanu says:

    ndimaona kuti popeza edzi ikuchedwa kutipungula ndiye mwina malungo angatithandizeko population control. serioisly we’re just too many in this country

  4. Sam says:

    Kkk i dont think this wil help alot .. Cctv and the stock cards are just diffent things… The real players in these practices wil not be deterred by cameras..

  5. Very good inspiring details about all people- thanks by thirumalia

  6. jayne says:

    most private clinics and drug stores are owned by people that are working in the public hospitals…this is conflict of interest as there are high chances of taking drugs for their benefit. A law should be passed to stop these govt employees from owning clinics and drug stores.

  7. Mabotcho says:

    A Bakili munayambitsa zoipa Lero aliyense a kuba mwana size yake.

    Mr president this challenge is because all of u in the multi party system r theives and corrupted. If everybody of that office is exemplary and fight against this then the problem magnitude would have reduced.

    cash gate is everywhere the guards r letting govt items out for their survival.

  8. Chetwick says:

    The system has the battery back up when there is aload shed

  9. chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa says:

    This is good development. this is going to help to a certain extent.

  10. Tonde says:

    Well done ziko lopanda madraks ,ivory , drugs traffiking cant go up

  11. ben says:

    CMST is currently non functional they are not buying any drugs for DHO they say they dont have money, but they have money for allowances and trips for senior officers

  12. Kanyimbi says:

    Good development. Please be fast to reach the district hospitals and even the dispensaries. All cameras should be connected to the capital hill, the Police headquarters, army and ACB. We should be very strict otherwise they can create fire after stealing in order to conceal the evidence.

  13. Tete Zirimushe says:

    That’s the last thing the govt should have done. The govt needs to set up a system where drugs can be traced from the point of entry. From Pharmacy to the patient. Electronic system. Mr Health Minister should know better. He worked in UK and should know how things are done. It worries me when I see well educated people, not contributing their knowledge but just saying yes bwana. You guys know that cctv won’t solve this. You know once the robust system is put in place you are the first to be caught in the net. You cannot fool the US by putting cctv. Robust network system , electronic with signatures etc is what is required.

  14. profit bushiri says:

    if the USA pull out of supplying drugs six million malawians will die each year. In three years 18 million Malawians will have died….

  15. Eugene says:

    Too little too late Mxiiii!!! Zoona AMalawi the people who are stealing will be in charge of these useless cctv! Armed guards shud be used to guard trucks from central medical stores

  16. Happy Eduardo says:

    Please look into the whole supply chain not just the source.

  17. munthu wina says:

    with current series of black outs, this is just another waste. who told you (govt) that where there are cctvs installed staff dont steal? these ITC’s are managed by the same people you are trying to monitor, dont take anything the donors say as correct some of them are dull only that their govts have money…full stop!!!

  18. Abdul razak muhammed karim says:

    Sikuti kuba kwake amachita kuika mmatumba ayi,with the free medical services amangolemba maina a anthu ambirimbiri as patients mankhwala akutipita, patsiku a malungo eni eni 10, 30 abodza nde pomatha mwezi 30tones of meds gone. i suggest zipatala zaboma tiyambe kumalipira ndithu thats only solution

  19. Me says:

    These will work for a MONTH only before they become a WHITE ELEPHANT!!!! A maintainance CULTURE has long alluded public service in MALAWI. If CCTV cameras are not WORKING in STATE HOUSE, what in the world gives a guarantee they will work in medical stores???? Good for PUBLIC RELATIONS but surely not for effectiveness!!!

  20. mMalawi says:

    Wa Nzeru Wa Kummawa, i dont think the pic of the CCTV cameras above was actually taken at medical stores… lol.

    Nyasatimes, could you please edit your stories before publishing. If the Americans stop giving the anti-malaria drugs, 6 million people will not die, but rather potentially face death or go untreated (if everyone of them cant afford to buy meds over the counter). You write as if aliyense akadwala malungo and osamwa mankhwala amafa, which is not the case.

  21. MAYE says:

    I don’t think that CCTV will help in combating drug theft in our hospitals. There are sofisticated systems that aid people in stealing these drugs.

  22. Khuth'upa o'Machemba says:

    Security cameras are one way of bolstering the security; but the 360 degree models are optimal where high level security is required. As in these cases involving drug pilfering and trafficking. However, that alone is not adequate: strict audits should be required, for targeted drugs. This is standard practice in your average “drug store” in advanced countries. Believe me, even there, drug theft in pharmacies, even in hospitals, is not uncommon.
    Security cameras and the audits tend to minimize the occurrences. Some theft still accurrs, because where there is a will there is a way. Almost always.

  23. DZIKANYANGA says:

    Klkkkkkk achitila dala awa kuyika camera imeneyi mcholinga kuti adzibabe.

  24. Antoni apaphata says:

    Kupanga Dala half hearted efforts. In the first place what were the cameras doing in storage for a whole year?

  25. Mo says:

    what CMST would have done is to develop an APPwhich will be used to record how many panodos has been dispensed at a hosipital,that is all medicines should have a barcode and they should be scanned before being given to a petient this info should be wired to CMST office at the same time then they will know that at 1000hrs some was given panado at Bwaila then they minus from what they sent to automatically

  26. Namaoda says:

    “In a bid to fiercely combat rampant medical drugs in its public hospitals” what is this???
    ” and if the US govt withdraw the free malaria drug aid, over 6 million Malawians, especially children, will die EACH year”
    ” or related diseases like shortage of blood in the body”
    Did this writer go to a journalism school? Does this nyasa news stream have an editor or anything goes?
    If 6 million Malawian can die in a year, the nation will be wiped out in 3 years

  27. Ayobeee de Zobue says:

    Govt should be strict with the operations of private clinics. They should conduct a research on the end user of the stolen drugs. Because what I know is that the medicine after being stolen are not exported to any country but are used within Malawi. For example last year I sustained a dog bite. When I went to gateway clinic”a dipensary at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital”,for an Anti Rabies Vaccine (ART), I was told that it was not available. But the drug according to sources at the hospital told me that they had received the vaccine past evening. So one can imagine when was it used between this period. Sometimes the person ell at govt hospitals direct patients to specific pvt clinics to go and buy medicine. This is food for thought by govt.

  28. mpingajira says:

    Monkeys in charge of monkeys stealing from monkeys

  29. Gertrude Maseko says:

    I don’t get the stupidity of the announcement

  30. Daniel Phiri says:

    Vigilant ??? My foot! You need to do more than install outdated CCTV cameras…. Catch me if you can kikikikikikikiki.

  31. Mpumulo wa bata says:

    What happens during electricity blackouts.? What are the maintenance costs ? Who
    is watching when the drugs leave CMS???

  32. Chingwe cha mbuzi says:

    Congratulations to health minister Dr Peter Kumpalume, he is doing a lot to help resuscitate the Ministry which was almost dying. This cftc camera initiative is a great idea.

  33. Dambudzo mwasanya says:

    CCTV can do a job at a certain extent.Human beings are more intelligent than the CCTV.The healthy ministry needs to formulate a proper system for the control of drug theft.Thieving staff should be dismissed immediately and punished.The system of transferring them to other healthy centres is not a solution to thieving problem.

  34. concerned malawi citizen says:

    Anakuwuwuzani ndani kuti ma cctv camera ake ndi amenewo kodi mukamapanga ma comment mumafuna kuti mutchuke chani?. Muzimvesesesa zinthu musananene kanthu. Anthu akuti ayika ma cctv kenako ayika chuthumzi cha cctv yo mmene imawonekela inu mwayamba kale kulankhula amalawi wosamvesesa ngati inu mumandinyasa. Tatiyeni tizifasa mkuwonesesa tisanapeleke maganizo athu.mmayamba kulankhula mokweza pazinthu zomwe simukuziziwa mulibe nazo umboni. Anthutu siku lina saza kukhulupililani pa zonena zanu.

  35. JK says:

    CMS must use RFID technology like the one used by courier companies like DHL if they are to curb this theft of drugs.. Cameras are not enough.. Asset tracking is the only way ..

  36. dreamteam says:

    This is a typical Malawians reaction – fool the white man who lost we continue our incest of raping our own mother Malawi.

    Who said CCTVS are expensive? They only cost $150 on Amazon.com latest ones as well and not the old style you show here. Just ask Chakwera to return the vehicle and we will have all the machines we need.

    Why do we have to wait for a white man to tell us what to do? Do we really need someone to tell us that stealing from our own country is same as raping one’s mother

  37. Isaac Naluso says:

    Administrators and Clinicians nor physicians are not custodians of medical drugs! Where is this ignorance emanating? Were you meaning “other stakeholders” within the health facilities? For the record… Clinicians simply “prescribe”

  38. Optic Computer says:

    Come to Kasungu Town Market, you will find that drugs that pharmacists at the DHO are lacking, are sold Nthochi area, yet not even the police care.

  39. Mzee says:

    Foolish people with dmall brains. CMST is headed by a known and certfied thief in one Geston Kaupa helped by an MCP funder and thief in Kaimvi. These people dont steal drugs but corruptly connive with suppliers who are mostly Asian to over price drugs. APM knows that the top management at CMST is rotten but he cant act because of someone in statehouse. So dont bother about CCTVs because Kaupa just gets cash from Victoria pharmacy and others. Oh let me not forget the old fool Moses Chisale who is busy developing new ways of influencing drug purchases just to get kickbacks.

  40. Wa Nzeru Wa Kummawa says:

    These are very old model cameras that face one direction only. The round ones could have been better. This is not to say that the people in charge of these CCTV will stop stealing, no. Orher Mechanisms must be put in place to prevent internal theft. This is not outside job!

    1. Abdul razak muhammed karim says:

      Its just a file pic boss

  41. Wina wadyapo says:

    Malawi singatukuke with this mentality. You know drugs are stolen from a network of networks including physicians and administrators. This is bull shit!!

  42. kkkkk says:

    Wast of resources .fake .u

  43. kadamanja says:

    Magetsi akathima cctv imathimaso thawi yakuba ndi imeneni, Now and then ma black out kwathu kuno. Do you think cctv will help? tangolamulani kuti kusapedzeke munthu akugulisa mankhwala mu Malawi muno without a Licence, akapedzeka 10 yrs jail basi

  44. palibe chanzeru mwapanga apa! Ask game, shorprite store? Anthu amaba kwabasi. We use city sikavengas to turn those cameras while kunaku katundu akupita. U missed the point sorry.

  45. FreeTechAdvice says:

    A good start still but has to be complimented with integrity of the civil servants.

  46. Prophet Justice says:

    It is a waste of resources. You cannot address this problem within a system that is rotten and using the very same cashgaters at CMS to operate the CCTV; whatof the persistent blackouts? Hold those that are responsible for drugs custody accountable and fire them all if they fail to account as you did with the previous officer.

    It keeps me wondering that some regimes are synonymous to certain occurings. I cry for my beloved Malawi

  47. Mabungu says:

    Not a solution at all. How do you plant CCTVs in all the wards of a Central Hospital? What about District Hospitals? Nanga Dispensaries? Decision not helpful but wasteful.

  48. A Malawi too much tulo you were waiting for American Ambassador to react whom are you fooling you are just fooling yourself you are the same people who are stealing medicine

  49. Bwititi says:

    How will the cameras work without escom power and no diesel in generators. You wish!!!!

  50. Mtumbusha says:

    It is the mentality in Malawi that must change. And it has to start from the executive branch of governance. Our leaders themselves must show respect for public assets. Otherwise installing CCTV will just be a waste of time and a further depletion of our limited resources.

    Supposing the drug thieves working in collusion with CCTV operators decided to switch it off or to delete CCTV data will the CCTV cameras still be of any use?

  51. Mbiri says:

    Grow up! Are you going to install CCTVs in health centers without electricity? Akayambe kubedwa ndi ma camerawo nkumapitiliza mankhwalawo! Kugona kwake inu? Ngati mukuchitila dalatu!

  52. Mada says:

    Maybe it will yield something

  53. Njolinjo says:

    Who told you that drugs are being stolen from warehouses? How about enroute to a government hospital? We need to identify risks in our systems and mitigate those risks. You seem not to know what you are doing.

  54. Malawi wa Lero says:

    You guys are crazy dunderheads. The CCTV cameras will do nothing to end this massive organised crime. Massive nation wide sensitization campaigns so that people change their mindset is what is needed. People must have a sense of ownership of the drugs instilled in them which will in turn guard against this primitive and babaric behavior.

  55. Mr Pheee says:

    Kkikkkkkk koma abale,mwatapa kale Aspirin muziti mwaika cctv yachani mu stores mulibemo mankhwala koma agalu inu hahahahahahahahahahahahah

  56. i miss kamuzu and john tembo says:

    ku chez ntemba/stereo yaku bucharest, romania kunachitika moto masiku apitawa ndipo anthu oledzera angapo anafa. prime minister, mayor ndi nduna zingapo ntchito zawo zatha.

    kuno ma thousand a anthu akhala akufa chifukwa chosowa mankhwala koma aliyense ku central medical stores adakali pa vepi. uku mukuba uku salary ikuyenda, satana mwana…

  57. Zambulo says:

    Does cctv work during blackouts? Sizingathàndize iźi magetsi amazima 8 hrs dàily

  58. everybody wants a prado says:

    nzungu ndi nzungu anwene. mwini chikwama wangoti ’tisiya kukupatsani mankhwaka’ mwapeza kale solution. this is why we can never be respected? we only act when we’re threatened with aid withdrawl.

    can you now please fix the cameras at ujeni? in fact, paliponse pali katundu wa boma pakhale ma camera. tatopa ndikutaya misonkho yathu pa zosadziwika bwino. sales from cashgate houses can pay for all of this.

  59. Mapwevupwevu says:

    Totally off bounds. The theft of drugs happens systematicallly btween Central MST & Hosp pharmacy so how can CCTV detect that? Example in CZ a track full of drugs was diverted & munthu anagwidwa koma nothing serious happened. Mukudziwana m’bomamo!!

  60. Titus scot says:

    Azidikira magetsi akathima apo ayi kuthimitsa dala the system. AMalawi angokhala anthu akuba basi. anthu oba mopanda mopanda manyazi.

  61. Mnyamata wa nzeru says:

    You are missing the point!! The thieves are from within the system!! The very people in charge of the CCTV!!! Hahahaha!!!

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