LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Malawi’ Minister of Health (MoH) Atupere Muluzi this week stirred warning public officers involved in medical drugs and equipment that will be persecuted.

Muluzi therefore disclosed that the ministry is in verge of introducing a tracking system to curb medical drugs and supplies pilferage.

According to the Minister the tracking system will be put from drugs point of entry into the country.

Muluzi told the Maravi Post after opening this year’s Health Sector Annual Review Joint Meeting in Lilongwe that he will not tolerate theft of medical drugs and supplies in public hospitals.

Besides tracking, the minister said all drugs and supplies meant for public hospitals will also be labelled for easy identification.

“With support from The Global Fund, we are introducing a drug entry and tracking system which will ensure tracking of drugs right from delivery at Central Medical Stores Trust [CMST] to the end-user.

“We will make sure that we are strengthening the system within the drug supply chain to prevent theft in hospitals,” said Muluzi.

Echoing on the same, Parliamentary Committee on Health vice-chairperson Victor Musowa commended MoH for the efforts to deal with theft saying time was ripe for the public gets quality health services.

Musowa who is also Mulanje Bale lawmaker lauded the minister for supporting HIV and Aids (Prevention and Management) Bill passed in Parliament earlier this week.

In Ministerial Statement presented in Parliament, the MoH said out of MK17.2 billion budget for drugs approved by Parliament in the 2016/17 financial year—out of which MK10.26 billion was for district hospitals and health centres and MK7.2 billion for the country’s four central hospitals—MK1.5 billion worth of drugs were lost to theft at various levels in the public health sector.

Drug theft has been on the increase in recent years, especially in public health facilities, leaving patients failing to access essential drugs from hospital pharmacies.

In 2016 alone, 125 people were arrested in connection with drug theft of which 64 cases are still in court while 30 have been convicted.