TWO provincial hospitals kept unclassified and dangerous drugs, some with expiry dates of as far back as 1995, the Auditor-General’s Office has revealed.
The expired drugs — which were being held in reserve at Masvingo Provincial Hospital — had expired between 1995 and 2019, while Marondera Provincial Hospital did not take heed of a directive to dispose of expired drugs worth $ 7 140 in 2019.
In addition to putting the lives of patients at risk, the hospitals allowed the drugs to expire at a time patients were in need of them.
According to Auditor-General Mrs Mildred Chiri’s report for the financial year ended December 31, 2019 on Appropriation Accounts and Fund Accounts, which was recently tabled in Parliament, the two hospitals breached Section 90 of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act.
The Act requires disposal of all obsolete, surplus and unserviceable assets.
Expired medicines are supposed to be destroyed “twice a year in normal circumstances”, with the quantities expected to be minimal.
“The report notes that keeping the expired drugs in storage opened loopholes for theft and corruption.
“Failure to dispose of the dangerous drugs and expired drugs may result
in pilferage which pose danger to the public.