Malawi Police nab suspected medical drug thief: Had US donated malaria drug

Police in Chitipa have arrested a 53 old man on suspicion that he stole medical drugs from public hospital worth K900 000, just days after the US envoy to Malawi threatened her country would stop its malaria drug aid package unless theft is curbed.

Ministry of Health spokesman: Chikumbe says crackdown on drug theft in public hospitals

Ministry of Health spokesman: Chikumbe says crackdown on drug theft in public hospitals

Police said they were tipped by well wishers that Joel Msiska had assorted medical drugs including the US donated malaria drugs.

“We acted swiftly, we were prompt and we found him with assorted medicine, HIV testing kits, malaria test kits and some operation theatre equipment,” said Gladwell Simwaka, spokesperson for Chitipa police station.

Simwaka said Msiska will appear in court soon to answer medical drug related charges.

The arrest comes barely days after the US ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer threatened her country would pull out the malaria drug aid package if the government fails to control rampant malaria drugs in public hospitals which get 95 per cent of its malaria medicine from the US government.

At least 6.3 people were treated of malaria last year mostly children and pregnant women.

In his state of address on Friday in parliament, President Peter Mutharika said his administration has now declared total war with drug thieves and said theft cases of medical drugs in public hospitals has drastically gone down.

In a bid to combat rampant drug theft in public health facilities stores, the Ministry of Health is embarking the project in installing CCTV cameras which will enable authorities tracking down those in involved in the malpractice.

Adrian Chikumbe Ministry of Health (MoH)’s Spokesperson revealed that installation of CCTV cameras’ first phase started with Central Medical Stores which central hospitals will follow before rolling it out to all district hospitals.

“Malawi government is serious in combating drugs theft in public hospitals this is the reason we are embarking the long term project in installing CCTV cameras in all places our drugs are stored starting with Central Medical Stores which central hospitals will follow before it’s done in district hospitals.

“We cannot disclose the budget to this arrangement as discussions are still underway with the partner who has shown interest to help us to carry out this task. We are not doing this exercise in responding to the US Ambassador Virginia Palmer reaction on drug theft but rather a zeal and vigilant to end the malpractice,” assures Chikumbe.

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zonde chirwa

the MoH should move very fast in proposing changes to the Penal Code dealing with penalties for the theft of medicines in our hospitals. As long as we have small fines and short prison sentences we are not going to deter people from pilfering medicines. I would have loved to hear that the Penal Code was being ammened during this seating of Parliament. we should also deal with those abetting or assisting pilferage of precius medicines because when drugs are stolen a lot of lives are lost

box13 bilila NU

Azungu amawonera patali,ku malawi aliyense wa ndale ndiwakuba ,koma kusagwida,motero ma subordinates onse akukopela their seniors.


Atumbuka kuba muleke. Mukuononga dziko lathu.


Its obvious that drugs pilferage is not serious at CMS but in hospitals. So applauding the installation of CCTV cameras at CMS is not a solution to this problem at all because it is the medical staff at clinics, hospitals and health centres who collude with business people within their areas that steal the drugs.
Imagine this story, has the CCTV camera at CMS helped capture the thief here? Malawians pena pake we have crazy planners. Wina wadyapo zake pa installation ya ma CCTV just to hoodwink the donors that they are doing smething while the real problem is somewhere else.


Dadaboma, may be ur afool, or ndiwe wakuba. Receiving little does nt warrant someone to steal, atumbuka mwachitika uli? A phiyo, lutepo, kasambala, ndhovi, soko, kalonga anali kulandira pachoko? Watsala iwe ukalowa utabanso


cctv ngati ikulepheleka kukonzedwa ku state house kkkkkkk

What do you expect of poorly paid public workers? To take care of public resources when they themselves cannot be taken care of by govt? Forget. And the solution is neither CCTVs or arresting people. Just pay them well so they can feed on their salary and not subject them to temptations of stealing. If they cannot feed on their salary because it is too small, they will feed on the public resources under their charge. If you tell them to quit public service and seek better terms elsewhere you’re shooting yourself in the foot. They will not quit but… Read more »
Frankly speaking
This donor instituted action so that we are seen that we are doing something about it is total hypocrisy of highest order. We seen not willing to deal with wrong issues on our own. What kind of a country are we. Don’t we feel ashamed of these actions. Does it mean on our own we do not know what is right or wrong and what to do when one steals ? People are stealing drugs we do nothing until donor threatens, people stole tons of billions of kwacha we did nothing until donors pulled out, people are vandalising our forest… Read more »

why back this thief. Chimutumbal ichiba chibuke ku rumphi koko cxhiye chibaghe. Chochifukwa mukakamila muma budindo

concerned citizen

Bwanji tizingogula mankhwala mzipatalamu? if we start paying for the medi then stores clerks will be careful. They’ll neva sale.
Free med is quite tempting to those handling. Let us be at par with our nebas -pay hospital charges.

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