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Kenya investigates sale of donated condoms, drugs on black market



Kenya sei On Thursday, it investigated allegations that thousands of donated condoms, mosquito nets and life-saving drugs were stolen from a government-run warehouse and then sold on the black market.

The items were donated by the Geneva-based aid organization Global Fund, which has distributed more than $ 1.4 billion to Kenya since 2003 to fight HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

A recent audit by the fund claimed that about 1.1 million condoms, 908,000 mosquito nets and tuberculosis drugs worth $ 91,000 (83,000 euros) were stolen from the state-run Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) and resold on the black market to private pharmacies. .

“KEMSA is in the process of investigating the Global Fund’s claims,” ​​the agency told AFP about allegations that condoms and drugs had been stolen, adding that “necessary reforms to address the identified problems have already been put in place. . “

The report, released on March 11, accused KEMSA of drastically inflating the value of medicines to the tune of $ 5.6 million, including overestimating the price of expired medicines up to 100 times the actual cost.

“KEMSA’s Nairobi warehouse was overcrowded with goods during our visit, making it difficult to locate goods,” said Global Fund, accusing it of “poor internal controls.”

An investigation is under way, the UN support agency said, telling AFP late Wednesday that “the inspector general’s office will not comment on ongoing investigations until they are finalized and published.”

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The revelations could jeopardize funding for Kenya’s healthcare system and come at a time when hospitals in the economic power of East Africa – plagued by the coronavirus pandemic – are already facing a shortage of crucial medicines.

“Administrative action has already been taken and is still being taken for those involved,” KEMSA said, promising further action against “specific individuals on a case-by-case basis.”

– ‘Covid Millionaires’ –

This is not the first time KEMSA has been accused of fraud.

In 2020, it was at the center of a corruption scandal after government officials and businessmen allegedly spent $ 400 million on public money for medical equipment needed in the fight against Covid-19.

A television show called “Covid Millionaires” aired the allegations for the first time in August 2020, urging staff to strike at Kenyan hospitals that are not equipped.

Following street protests, President Uhuru Kenyatta dismissed KEMSA’s top management and ordered the Ministry of Health to publish details of all purchases made during the pandemic.

Despite the country’s anti-corruption agency documenting evidence of graft, cases have been dragged to court and no one has been convicted so far.

Kenya investigates sale of donated condoms, drugs on black market

Source link Kenya investigates sale of donated condoms, drugs on black market

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