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R30 million in medicines found wasted at illegal depot

Written by Tandeka Hlongwane

Expired medicines worth around R30 million were recently discovered in an unauthorised medical depot in Libode near Mthatha.

According to the South African Press Association (SAPA),  a rapid response team, dispatched to the Eastern Cape’s OR Tambo District by MEC for Health Sicelo Gqobana, discovered the drugs.

The Treatment Action Campaign’s Eastern Cape Coordinator Noloyiso Ntamehlo expressed disappointment at this waste of public money.

“TAC is against the waste of public money while clinics and hospitals struggle to provide proper services,” she said.

She told OurHealth that district continues to battle medical personnel and equipment shortages.

“We are not happy at all because the community is struggling to get comprehensive healthcare services,” she added. “Officials responsible for this waste must be held accountable and the law must take its course.”

According to the provincial health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo, the medicines were exposed to heat during a fire at Mthatha depot in 2011.

The medicines were removed to this unauthorised depot, which has now been closed, according to SAPA reports.

Kupelo could not be reached for further comment.

About the author

Tandeka Hlongwane

Tandeka Hlongwane is an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from the Eastern Cape's OR Tambo Health District.

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