Malawian arrested for illegal health practice in Zambia

Health Professions Council of Zambia has apprehended a Malawian identified as Macson Phiri for illegally operating as a health officer and dispensing medicines without licences.

In a statement, the Council’s public relations officer, Terry Musonda said they worked together with Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority and Drug Enforcement Commission to locate and apprehended the 36-year-old Malawian.

Public relations officer, Terry Musonda

The three bodies carried out the joint operation on Friday, January 27 following a tip-off which the Council received from the public.

Investigations discovered that since 2021, Macson Phiri had been using his rented one roomed house located in Mgubudu area of Chipangali  to disperse assorted medicines and medical supplies.

It was established that before 2021, the Malawian was using his motorbike to sell his medicines and medical supplies to both clients who had prescriptions and those who did not.

After being interviewed, the suspect revealed that he arrived in Zambia in 2018 after leaving a job as an assistant at health facility in Malawi and that he claimed to possess a dual citizenship of Malawi and Zambia “but could not produce documentation to support the claims”.

The medicines and medical supplies he was found in possession with included antibiotics, cough syrups, contraceptives, analgesics, antiviral tablets & creams, anti-hypertensive, anti-malarial, HIV test  kits, pregnancy test kits and malaria rapid diagnostic tests — “which he revealed to have been sourcing from Malawi but he did not produce any documentation”.

“He purportedly attended school in Malawi and completed Form 4 and he also claimed to have undergone a one-year 6 months diploma training in medication but could not produce documentation.”

He was charged of:

* Holding out as a health practitioner, contrary to section 30(1)(a) of that country’s Health Professions Act No. 24 of 2009;

* Offering consultations and dispensing medicines contrary to section 36(1) of the Health Professions Act No. 24 of 2009 as read together with Section 2.1 of the National Health Care Standards of 2020 issued in accordance with section 76 of the Health Professions Act;

* Operating a pharmacy that was not registered, contrary to section 14 (1)(a) of the Medicines and Allied Substances Act No. 3 of 2013; and

* Failing to maintain records for medicines or allied substances registered under the Medicines and Allied Substances Act, contrary to section 58(2)(d) of the same Act.

“He has since been detained in custody by the Drug Enforcement Commission in Chipata waiting to appear in court soon,” said the statement dated Sunday, January 29.

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