US government has threatened to pull out malaria drug aid package in public hospitals unless the Malawi government takes serious action on theft of the medicine.
Virginia Palmer, US ambassador to Malawi sounded the warning Tuesday afternoon at a news briefing in Lilongwe.
Palmer did not mince words but directly attacked the Malawi government for its passiveness on drug theft in public hospitals which she said is now reaching alarming levels.
“We want to see perpetrators locked up, we want to see officials involved fired not transferring them to other hospital,” said Palmer.
If implemented, the move would risk over six million Malawians, especially children who get the free malaria medicine in public hospitals.
“I dont think the American tax payer would be happy to see the medicine they are funding are found on shop shelves for sale,” she said.
The US provides 95 % of all malaria medicine in public hospitals in Malawi through the President Malaria Initiative and if America stops supplying the medicine, the situation would worsen the already crippled health facilities hit by the worst economic situation.
Research shows that 25 per cent of medial drugs in public hospitals are stolen, usually by members of staff who connive with owners of private hospitals.
Palmer explained that her government will stop supplying the malaria drug to hospitals hit most by theft.
“We want to see better accountability of the medicine,” she said.
At least 6.3m Malawians had malaria last year aloneFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :