Corruption: Minister Chilufya orders $9m Chloroquine to treat Covid 19

Corruption: Minister Chilufya orders $9m Chloroquine to treat Covid 19

***Abuses his office to buy Chloroquine for US$ 9 million to treat Covid -19 when everyone knows there is no medication for Covid – 19

HAPPENINGS IN MINISTRY OF HEALTH PART 1

I shall dedicate considerable time to make public expose of some of the corruption taking place in the Ministry of Health. These are verifiable facts that members of the Public will do well to also take time to check.

Today am dealing with the issue of procurement of ARVs, secret procurement of Hydroxycloquine and Hand Sanitizer.

I must state from the onset that procurement of drugs in Zambia has been personalized by the Minister of Health, working in collaboration with a few individuals, to the exclusion of other Professionals.

1.PROCUREMENT Of ARVs (type TLD)

Some time last year, the Government of the Republic of Zambia, through the Ministry of Health hastily, without consultation, procured a type of Antiretroviral drug called Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumurate, Lamivudine and Dolutegravir (TLD in short) at a very huge cost to replace Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumurate (TLE) as a first line drug.

There is no scientific reason whatsoever for the migration from TLE to TLD. I challenge whoever carried out the study to bring out the evidence.

Sadly, at the moment Zambia has run out of TLD and patients who migrated from TLE to TLD have since gone back to TLE without proper explanation. The Ministry gave an excuse that the shortage was as a result of COVID-19, when in fact not. The stocks depleted below re-order levels way before the Covid-19 situation escalated.

In procuring this drug, the Minister never consulted anybody. What motivated the Ministry to procure this drug is anybody’s guess. Patients on TLE were doing just fine. But the sudden switch to a more expensive drug left everyone puzzled. There is no proper reason for this change.

For now, medical experts are hoping that affected users will not be affected adversely.

2.PROCUREMENT OF HYDROXYCLOROQUINE

The Ministry of Health has procured hydroxychloroquine, commonly known as chloroquine tablets at a cost of over $9 million for the treatment of Corona virus without following procedure. The drugs arrived in the country last week.

Latest information shows that Chloroquine cannot be used in the treatment of COVID-19. Patients who were put on this drug never recovered. This procurement is a top secret. I challenge The Minister to dispute this.

3. HAND SANITIZER

A local company that recently donated a huge some of money to the Ministry of Health in exchange for business, is manufacturing hand sanitizers whose alcohol content is below the required 80% content. The Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) refused to give certificate for this product, but the Ministry of Health forced the Authority to issue the certificate. These hand sanitizers are on the market as we speak. So be careful as you buy these sanitizers.

For today I end here. Enjoy the weekend, shall bring to you more next week, God willing. There is a lot to share.

Gregory Chifire

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