Syndicate threatens to cripple health operations in Taita Taveta

Patients waiting at the Moi hospital in Voi./COURTESY

A syndicate involved in the theft of drugs in government dispensaries and health centers is threatening to cripple health operations in the interior parts of the county.

According to residents, the syndicate involves government facility health workers and private chemists and clinic owners.

The areas worst affected by the practice include Godoma, Bura and Munegwa in Mwatate Sub-county.

Tabitha Musembi who hails from Godoma village told Baraka FM that she once fell victim to the syndicate after she sought treatment for her son at a nearby health facility.

“They wrote a prescription for him but told me that some of the drugs were currently out of stock,” Tabitha told Baraka FM.

However, the pharmacists referred her to a private chemist and she suspected malice when the pharmacist gave her an alternative of paying sh. 500 so that the pharmacy could order the drugs for her.

Left with no option, Tabitha says she was forced to pay for the amount however she never received a receipt for the payment.

For Tekla Wambosha who hails from Munegwa Village, she was forced to undertake a urine test at a clinic in Voi town after health workers told her the test could not be conducted at her local dispensary.

In February, the county health department came under scrutiny after drugs worth Sh. 38 million were depleted in the first 20 days of the month leading to a health crisis in the county.

However, during a stakeholder meeting on Wednesday which was attended by Taita Taveta governor Granton Samboja, the health stakeholders blamed the emergence of the trend on security lapses in the public health facilities.