President Peter Mutharika has said he has issued a decree that any public health worker found stealing medical drugs would be fired immediately and will not be getting salary as was the case before.
“Do not dare to steal. We will fire you immediately if we catch you. We will not even pay you. You can go to court if you want,” said a seemingly angry Mutharika during the opening of Nkhata Bay District Hospital.
He described the tendency of drug theft as criminal and inhumane and said he was angry with reports that a laboratory assistant at Mzuzu Central Hospital was caught with 10 cartons of medical drugs and diagnostic equipment from the hospital.
“This nonsense must stop once and for all. We have put in place mechanisms to track down drug thieves, saying “even if you steal one tablet, we will catch you.”
Health minister Peter Kumpalume said he has already written the Inspector General of Police Lexten Kachama to thank him for the swift arrest of the laboratory assistant Kondwani Kanthenga.
“We have also the Drug Investigations Unit which has teeth to bite those who steal drugs.”
He said the unit uses electronic surveillance, intelligence and other means to track down the thieves blamed for empty drug warehouses in public hospitals.
”If you dare steal the medical drugs, we will track you down, we will find you, we will prosecute you and we will lock you up,” said Kumpalume.
The minister warned health workers against reporting for work late and knocking off early.
“”I am your minister of Health but I am in office by 7:30 am because that is when my shift starts and knock off at 6 pm, you can find out,” he said.
Kumpalume asked the people to take care the hospital, saying it is the biggest and offers more services than any other hospital in MalawiFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :