Minister makes an impromptu visit to drug theft hit hospital

Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume on Wednesday suspended some of his official duties to make an impromptu visit to Bwaila Hospital in Lilongwe where four hospital workers were earlier arrested on medical drug theft suspicion.

Kumpalume:  Visits hospitals

Kumpalume: Visits hospitals

Kumpalume warned the government would take drastic action against any health worker involved in drug thefts, saying this was putting lives of ordinary Malawians at risk.

He asked the courts to mete out stiff punishment to convicts to deter others from the malpractice.

His outbursts come amid severe criticisms that the government is not doing much to curb drug theft in public hospitals which prompted the US ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer threatening to withdraw anti malaria drugs which his government donates to Malawi accounting for 95 percent of the antimalaria drugs in public hospitals.

Kumpalume was just coming from Mangochi where he met district health officers and pharmacists from across the country among others to find solutions on the increasingly drug shortages in hospitals.

Spokesman for ministry of Health Adrian Chikumbe said the four were caught as they wanted to get the medicine out of the hospital premises.

“Management had changed the watchmen so this new set of watchmen managed to apprehend the suspects,” he said.

The alleged stolen medicine included La, which treats malaria.

In Chitipa, the court there has sentenced an illegal medical drug trader to one and half years in prison with hard labour for stealing drugs at the district hospital worth K90,0000.

Police spokesman in Chitipa, Gladwell Simwaka confirmed the conviction and sentencing of John Msiska, 55.

Simwaka also said the police have now netted Msiska’s alleged accomplices who work at Chitipa District Hospital including medical assistants.

The arrested hospital workers are Owen Munyenyembe, 47, Aubrey Munkhondia, 53 and hospital guard Fanson Kanthomba.

These reports come as Dedza District Hospital has sent an SOS on severe drug shortage including anti rabies.

The hospital also says Central Region Water Board has disconnected water supply to the hospital due to an outstanding bill of K3.2m and the hospital suspended provision of food to patients since last Tuesday due to lack of money.

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20 thoughts on “Minister makes an impromptu visit to drug theft hit hospital”

  1. No Laughing Matter says:

    Private clinics shelves is where these medicines finally sits. So it is also logical to audit private clinics how they purchase their stocks. Once you take that route. There might be a drop in demand for these medicines

  2. I remember this once happened in Phalombe District at Mpasa Health Center, the public caught the health workers in action but instead of The District Office to take action it ended up backing up the culprits. Unbelievable!!!!!

  3. Andrew says:

    Top officials are busy with cashgate wat positive result do u expect from the juniors

  4. musisipala says:

    Pababa pa malawi ndikusowa kwa kwacha.

  5. angoni apaphata says:

    Form one….. Peter Kumpalume… Quiz master… Keep it up bro. Loma musamachite kupita nokha. Takula ngozo. Tumizani anyamata. Good boy though.

  6. mmmm I don’t think the minister is right .Stiffer sentence is based on crime committed and degree of the case.Mind you judiciary is an independent arm of government. Talk of fighting drug theft not sentencing otherwise judicial review would be involved to change sentences imposed. Cashgate=chicken thefty=drug theft etc

  7. Chinthiti says:

    Welldone my Minister keepit up,come even here in Salima Hosipitals,mudzationeleso mbava anthu akungobwelera mzipatala kusowa olo aSprin weniweniyu ati tizikagura tokha.

  8. CITIZEN says:


  9. Prince Edward rsa says:

    Ngati kuntundako anasowesa 577billion ya makwacha kukambitsa ku america anthu atani its examples from above

  10. Sinapondamtota Mbirithire Masiyafumbi says:

    Kulephera kwa Peter Mutharika zones zaipa

  11. Ineyo says:

    Chitipa vale of drugs stolen is Mk90,0000.? Half baked and inaccurate figures. Kumatiuza zoona.

  12. Musawataye anthu akumwalira chifukwa cha zilengwalengwa zimenezi.

  13. Che Ngana says:

    Bwana Kumpalume Mwayambazi Mupitilize Kumanka Muzionera Nokha Osati Zongomva.Ntchito Ya Pa Malawi Ndikungoziunjika Mu Office Sizimagwirizana.

  14. Alex Likoswe says:

    Waste of time and energy

  15. Eugene says:

    Failed state ndithu

  16. Wadyera says:

    The theft at Bwaila Hospital is not the first one, they were also caught some months ago but there were left escort free. Lets hope this time around the law will take its course. Can the authorities also check with the Light house, a lot of HIV test kits are being stolen and sold to the Taifas in the Devil streets. The pharmacy guys are the worst culprits because they sell all the drugs that have been allocated to Bwaila pharmacy and tell patients to go and buy even if its meant a mere Panado. Chonde musawamasule anthu amenewa akuphetsa anthu pa Bwaila Hospital

  17. MLOMWE says:

    Timanena kumalembako ntchito achinyamata akuluwa kuba kwambiri imagine anthu ake ndi azaka 47,55,60,67 chaaa madara umbava ngakhale cashgate ndimidara yaku Malawi ikuba kwambiri

  18. Chibanja tv says:

    Timely move and some ministers should emulate. Well done Dr Kumpalume!

  19. Khudthupa Thomunanara says:

    Things are falling apart. The center is failing to hold… We are approaching the sad end to a vicious circle that has been going on for more than 6 thousand yrs on planet earth…

  20. odala says:

    Under the watch of Visionary leadership of learned Pro APM… long Live DPP

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