US responds with action on rampant drug thefts in public hospitals

The US government has come in swiftly and handy to curb rampant medicine drugs in public hospitals by constructing drug warehouses at public health facilities.

Magwila: Signed MOU

Magwila: Signed MOU

The US and the Malawi governments have since signed a memorandum of understanding, paving the way for the construction of the warehouses that will now enable authorities determine who went into the warehouses and how much drugs have been taken away.

Officials from USAID, development arm of the US embassy are upbeat that the move would help drastically reduce incidents of thefts.

Principal secretary for ministry of Health Macpheral Magwira who signed the memorundum of understanding on behalf of the Malawi government, said this was a milestone in the government’s quest to control the thefts.

“We are reviewing the whole drug management. Theft of drugs starts from the Central Medical Stores to hospitals,” he said.

He said the warehouses will give detailed accounts of drug consignments, those who received and drugs that are going out.

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27 thoughts on “US responds with action on rampant drug thefts in public hospitals”

  1. Paka Bush says:

    A Magwira kwakuyanjanitu ku Health mwayamba kuyela…Koma muyele ndi mtima omwe…Nkhanza musiye kwa Juniors anu…..

  2. medical assistant says:

    Please government officials just go into the private hospitals and find out where do they buy drugs. You will discover the syndicate. I am a medial assistant working in a certain pharmacy in town. I know what I am talking about. Start with pharmacy … down town here. Our ware house is staked with drugs, plenty which even Malawi government can not afford to have such drugs even after receiving some from the famous USAID.These private clinics are very smart in drug laundering.Without drugs from public hospitals, these private clinics can close down their business. Get my cel number xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and call me urgent, you will be surprised with syndicate. All senior doctors, nurses, medical assistant, lab assistants, physiotherapists, cleaners, ward attendants, surgeons, bogus doctors.


  4. Eye Witness says:

    Constructing warehouses is jst another way of wasting money. The real theft is in documentation. If hospital ???? x requested let us say 10000 tablets of amoxyl. This can be put as 100000 tablets.The legitimate vehicle will come to collect the drugs with an excess of 90000 tablets. The transporters are looped in to drop the extra 90000 at hospital y. Hospital ???? x gets the actual requested 10000. The pharmacist of hospital ???? x is looped in and he enters 100000 on stock cards and not 10000. When issuing to Out Patients Department be bloat the figures so than in the end 100000 will be issued out and not 10000. And the system fails to pick this. The game is done nice and clean 90000 tablets stolen.

  5. choka phiri says:

    Its People working in the hospital Who steal medicines to private clinics. How Come that one find medicines in clinics? The problem is that private clinics are owned by same doctors Who are working at public hospitals. They are more interested making money since they get more with private. Its was with Kamuzu Banda. Its the same with alla businesses are in the hands of minister and MPS. That is why there is Corruption. It should not be allowed for a minister to own or start businesses while he/she is in that position. U can not serve two masters at The same. Many join politics to run businesses.

  6. snelia says:

    You can’t stop this malpractice because most of senior doctors are running their own private hospitals.can you please find out how they import their drugs into their private hospitals.

  7. MCHEMO says:



  8. Mphwache says:

    Druggate at Central Medical Stores, Sugargate at Illovo, Beergate at Calsberg, Human trafficking gate at Malawi border posts, Watergate at the Water Boards, Maizegate at the silos and Admarc, Powergate at Escom, hey trek me what works in that Country, I really wanted to invest in something for Malawi but eeeeiiiiisssshh

  9. The whole civil service is full of corrupt stuff from the tale to head its just a disease anyway

  10. Zondiwe says:

    We Malawians have failed to look after drugs that donors give us.
    Ministry of Health has very educated people all over. How come they are failing to control drug safety?
    Malawians talk too much but do not act truthfully. Too busy thinking and dealing with tribalism and hatred of minority groups in this small country. What a pity!

  11. Mateyu says:

    Exactly Molande.should we really go this far?it’s such a shame how items can just move out of a facility or institution without proper records as has been the case.this drug theft is a racket and even those that claim to be fighting it could be well involved am afraid.

  12. mapwevupwevu says:

    Anthu akuba inu mudzikaba Ku ma health centre konko!

  13. ramsay snow is just misunderstood says:

    stupid malawians. chili chonse azichita kukupangilani azungu? are 16 million humans failing to come up with a simple solution?

    we have a military force that does nothing but eat free food, drink beer and screw whores. can’t we attach them to the police service to help secure our borders, govt stores, townships, albinos, private parts etc etc? poorest country on earth indeed.

  14. John says:

    We need donors to place their people (azungu) at the Central Medical stores and then the same donors should hire people (azungu) to manage drugs at all District and Central hospitals. Finish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Kenkkk says:

    What is the difference? A separate building detached from the hospital so that you can see who is coming or going in? With cameras or cctv, you can still see who is going in and out in the current set up although pedestrian traffic can be a problem. A separate building would provide a clearer and better monitoring without much interference from pedestrians or patients walking around.

    Having said that the proposal is a very big improvement and should be commended.

  16. Mzee says:

    Amagwira kuthamanga bwanji. Do you have evidence that drug theft dtarts from CMST or as usual nkhanza. There is a Malawian who has been employed by the Global find to establish how drugs are stolen chonde talk to him he can help stem drug theft. Putting CCTVs wont solve the problem because drugs are not stolen like that. Could you also look at over pricing of drugs which is done to defraud govt by suppliers and the top three at the CMST. I believe the ministry is incompetent and has lost control of CMST or its a Yao thing since Magwira and Kaupa are both Yaos. Govt must employee competent people not on ethnicity as is the case in most govt ministries. As long as management at both the ministry and cmst remains as it is no improvement shall come about.

  17. Bull sheet! Don’t they know who enters stores at the moment? Do medical stores not have keys that they don’t know who enters the rooms? Even if you costruct those warehouses, theft will not stop as the reall problem is the heads of workers there.

  18. Nankununkha sadzimva says:

    Now who is more God fearing between the US citizens and Malawi citizens? Someone far away, driven by the cause for humanity gives but my compatriot sees no human face and takes the gift away from the intended beneficiary for personal benefit. Selfish people. No wonder enafe timaganiza kuti ndi bwino atamatilamulira azungu.

  19. Kamtwanje says:

    We might as well out source nanagement of critical stages of drug flow processes. A Malawife tingovomereza kuti ndife olephera. Ngakhale azibambo timadzitchula kuti heads of families koma zowona zake ndizakuti we dont perform our rightful duties. A zimai u might aswell start thinking of outsourcing ma ‘services’ omwe mumapeza kwa agologolo omwe mumawatcha amuna pa nyasaland pano from outside. Dziko la anthu opanda conscious!!!!

  20. Nyamukumutu says:

    Kutaya nthawi uku the issue is complex and that solution is just a drop in the ocean of thefty.

  21. zimkambani says:

    Palibe chachitika apa. Remember it is not theft at source warehouse but theft in the process where it does not get to the desired destination. Will cameras track down that piece of information? I wonder

  22. innocent says:

    thats good strategy. employ expert in the field of storage.

  23. Vitumbiku Ngwira says:

    Molande no…Malawian solutions for Malawian problems. There many effective ways of tracking theft and preventing it in hospitals.

  24. Vitumbiku Ngwira says:

    I hope they use biometrics.

  25. Charl says:

    HSAs are among those that steal drugs in hospitals we see them sell drugs here in kasungu

    1. Manuel says:

      Totally agree wth u Charl; well observed. Health Surveillance Assistants(HSA) are NOT TECHNICAL staff. They’ve never been to any health sciences college hence have no idea how drugs work/ how drug resistance develops, dangers of irrational dispensing/ how human body sytems work etc. To them any category of drugs are just stationery which can be publicly given/sold/exchanged for goods, sex etc unlike the technical staff e.g Medical Assistants,Nurses,Clinical Officers Doctors, who handled drugs as potential poison which must be protected frm untrained/unknowledgeable people.Drug pilferage has gone out of hand since HSAs started manning drug stores in health centres,given drugs to give to unsuspecting rural citizens(literally mass public poisoning!).As a matter of emmergency, banish HSA frm drug store and return them to nurses and clinicians. We will see good results in 6 months! Let HSAs go back to their job of promoting hygiene, weighing children,giving vaccines and mixing Thanzi ORS during cholera oubreaks

  26. molande says:

    We could just ask the donors to put their personell in areas we are failing to manage so that things get better, otherwise somebody is not thinking.

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