, MACHAKOS, Kenya, Feb 7 – Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua and Directorate of Criminal Investigation officers have smashed a syndicate which has been diverting drugs and equipment from government hospitals in the county.
The drugs are then sold to patients at private clinics especially in Machakos Town.
The sting operation led to the arrest of four suspects from a private clinic opposite the Machakos Level 5 hospital.
They were after being found with drugs and equipment bearing government batch numbers and labels.
Among the recovered items included assorted drugs, reagents and X-ray films.
Speaking to members of the public and the press outside the private clinics, Mutua said he had notified the DCI last week to investigate the theft of drugs and other medical supplies from the county’s referral facility as a result of numerous complaints from patients.
The county boss also instructed the police to investigate all pharmacies and laboratories adjacent the hospital and verify the ownership as it was widely suspected that they belonged to county employees.
“It’s a common trend for patients to be referred to specific pharmacies and laboratories adjacent to the hospital for tests and drugs after being told that our hospitals lack drugs,” Mutua said.
He also told the relevant authorities to clamp down on quacks managing the private clinics as the sting operation also revealed that they were being run by unqualified personnel.
Drama unfolded after the owner of one of the nearby laboratories swiftly closed his doors locking inside patients after he got wind of the operation.
The governor at the same time ordered the suspension of all security officers at the Machakos Level Five Hospital as Investigations progressed on the pilferage of drugs from the hospital.
The county chief subsequently conducted an impromptu tour of the hospital’s laboratory to acquaint himself with the procurement and operations of the department.