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 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.