THE Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) in partnership with the Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) has saved over 1.2bn/-, allegedly taken fraudulently by staff of the hospital's Pharmacy Unit.
This was revealed by the PCCB Director, Brigadier General John Mbungo at a press conference in Dar es Salaam, on Wednesday.
He said that the amount is the value of medicines and medical equipment that PCCB and MOI found to have been diverted fraudulently through a patient record keeping system.
“We are questioning 23 staff of the Pharmacy Unit who are allegedly involved in this scam. Many of them are requesting to start returning the money they swindled. The amount which is alleged to have been fraudulently taken might increase as efforts to trace all culprits are going on,” said the PCCB Director General.
According to Brig General Mbungo, the misconduct which is an offence under Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act No. 11 of 2007 has been curtailed after investigation revealed discrepancies between information fed by pharmacists on the system and the prescriptions of medicines by doctors on patient records.
For example, he said, if a doctor prescribes 30 pills for a patient's use for one month, the pharmacist increases the number of medications and introduces 60 medicines in the system, which in reality the patient has not received.
“Investigations have also revealed that pharmacists were causing the loss of medication by entering false information into the system, indicating that the patient had been given the drug more than once, which even if done incorrectly could cause harm to the patient,” Brigadier General Mbungo said.
He pointed out that from time to time, the Minister for Health, Social Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Dorothy Gwajima, had been monitoring the performance of pharmacies in every hospital she has inspected since she came to power and discovered various shortcomings.
The director general said that the minister discovered that there were no proper records of application and delivery of drugs in pharmacies and that she found this at Busekelo Hospital in Mbeya, Dodoma and Katavi Region.
As a result, he said, the minister has directed the launch of a special operation to educate administrative leaders in regions and districts across the country, so that they could understand the process to be followed and thus be able to check whether the appropriate systems are in place.
“PCCB will continue to closely monitor all those involved in this type of fraud and I urge all those involved in drug delivery services to take a leaf of MOI, so as to collectively control this type of embezzlement,” he said.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Mbungo announced a major reshuffle of regional executives and directors within PCCB.
He has appointed new directors on various posts in order to increase efficiency of the Bureau in the prevention and combating of corruption in the country.
He disclosed that the Investigation Directorship post would be under Mr Isidory Kyando, who was previously deputy PCCB Bureau Chief of Manyara Region and appointed Ms Neema Mwakalyelye, the Director of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The director general has also appointed Ms Leonarda Ngaiza the Director of Internal Control, while Mr Malimi Mifuko becomes the Director of Property Management.
In the reshuffle, Mr Hamza Mwenda, who was PCCB Bureau Chief in Rukwa Region, has been moved to Ruvuma.
Ms Yusta Chagaka, then Bureau Chief in Ruvuma Region becomes new Bureaus boss in Rukwa, while Ms Domina Mkama has been moved to Iringa from Njombe to hold the same position. Ms Frida Wikesi, who was Principal Investigation Officer at Headquarters, becomes PCCB Bureau Chief in Kilimanjaro Region.
The PCCB Director General also announced that Mr Kassim Ephrem, who was also Principal Investigation Officer at Head Office, becomes Bureau Chief in Njombe Region, while Mr Alex Kuhanda has been moved to the Headquarters from Mara where he was Bureau Chief.
Mr Hassan Mossi, who was Principal Investigation officer in Mwanza becomes the new Bureau Chief in Mara Region, while Mr Stephen Chami, who was PCCB Bureau Chief in Lindi Region has been transferred to the Headquarters.
According to the director general, Mr Abnery Mganga and Mr Frank Mkilanya, the then Principal Investigation officers at Head Office become new Bureau Chiefs in Lindi and Mwanza Regions, respectively.
Mr Emmanuel Stenga, who was Mwanza Bureau Chief has been moved to the Headquarters and would be assigned other duties, while Mr James Ruge, who was Principal Investigation Officer at Head Office becomes the new Bureau Chief in Arusha Region.
In another development, the PCCB has established a mobile system to be known as Mobile PCCB, whereby officers of the bureau would be moving from their offices to various locations close to the people for the purpose of listening and determining their grievances.'