2 health officials allege arons

Dr Kweku Agyeman Mensah,Health MinisterAlthough National Security investigations into the inferno at the Central Medical Stores of the Ghana Health Service at Tema, is yet to be concluded, clear indications that it was caused by arsonists, have begun to emerge.

This follows disclosures by two top officials in the health sector which give a pointer that the fire could have been caused by some personnel in an attempt to destroy evidence of illegal dealings at the stores.

Yesterday, the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Victor Bampoe, and Dr Constance Bart-Plange, Head of the Malaria Control Programme, revealed that the fire occurred when certain actions were about to be taken to check some malpractices there.

Dr. Bampoe, speaking on JoyFm said The Health Minister, Dr. Kweku Agyeman Mensah, had detected irregularities at the stores, and the fire outbreak occurred a day before a planned action to institute sanity into the Store’s management system.

What surprises us is that the day before he was supposed to take an action, this thing occurred. He was supposed to ask certain people to do certain things. That’s why it’s very interesting that the fire occurred when it occurred,” Dr. Bampoe said.

For her part, Dr Bart-Plange in reaction to news on her interdiction said the fire occurred a day before she was supposed to have met the managers of the stores about the disappearance of a consignment of malaria drugs.

Expressing disappointment about her interdiction, she revealed that a consignment of malaria drugs were issued under fictitious documentation with a forged signature of hers, while she was on leave.

She alleged that managers of the Stores issued more than 300,000 Artemether Lumefatrine, (malaria drugs), to the Malaria Control Board, but the drugs could not be traced.

Dr. Bart-Plange, said on resumption of office from leave, she detected the discrepancies and began investigations into the matter to find out who signed her signature, and the whereabout of the drugs.

“I was at the Central Medical Stores on Monday, January 12, to ascertain the names on the issued vouchers and to find out where the medicines were sent to after delivery,” she said, adding that the officials promised to provide her the information on Wednesday, only for the stores to be gutted by fire on Tuesday.

So far, Dr Bart-Plange and three others have been interdicted pending in conclusion of investigations into the matter.

They others are Dr. Samuel Boateng, Director for Procurement and Supply of the Ministry of Health, Dr Kwesi Addai Donkor, Director for Supply Stores and Drug Management at the Ghana Health Service,and Abdul Karim Iddrisu, Head of Stores at the Central Medical Stores.

By Linda Aryeetey  

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