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General News of Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Embattled Head of Malaria Control Programme vows to fight back

Interdicted head of the Malaria Control Programme is upset by the decision of the Health Ministry to interdict her, following damning reports of missing malaria drugs.

Dr Constance Bart-Plange is unhappy with the interdiction and has vowed to clear her name.

Officials of the Central Medical Stores (CMS), which is now ravaged by fire, is said to have issued over 300,000 quantity of malaria drugs, Artemether Lumefantrine, under mysterious circumstances to the Malaria Control Board but the drugs are nowhere to be found.

An inventory control card in the possession of Joy News indicates that the Board received a total of 396,000 quantity of the product in three tranches of 144,000, 144,000 and 108,000 on 4th December 2014.

The Board had already taken custody of 28,800 of similar drugs on 14th November 2014. Joy News also has in its custody correspondence between CMS and the Malaria Control Board signed by one Ms Naa Korkor Allotey, who was then the acting programmes manager.

According to Bart-Plange the drugs were issued under fictitious documentation with a staff said to have forged her signature while she was on leave. An obviously disappointed Bart-Plange told Joy News Editor Araba Koomson on her return, she noticed the fictitious deals and began investigations into it.

She did not understand why the Minister would interdict her when the investigations had not been concluded.

She said on Monday January 12, 2014 they went to the Central Medical Stores to ascertain the names on the issue vouchers and to find out where the medicines were sent to after delivery.

However, the officials promised to provide the information on Wednesday only for the stores to be gutted by fire on Tuesday, January 13, 2014. It took over three days to douse the flames.

"Apart from Brong Ahafo NGOs [Non Governmental Organisations] who said they had received those things all the others had not received.

"So we got alarmed and I went to the CMS together with my deputy and the procurement supply management Monday, the day before the fire burnt the stores. "I want to place it on record. Let the Ghana population judge," she told Koomson.

The BNI has taken up investigation into the missing drugs and how the Central Medical Stores were ravaged by fire.