ONGWEDIVA – The police in Omusati region on Wednesday afternoon arrested a 29-year-old male nurse stationed at Odimbwa clinic who had unauthorised pharmaceutical products including medicine in his possession.
He is expected to make his first appearance in the Outapi Magistrate’s Court today.
According to the police spokesperson in Omusati, Lineekela Shikongo, the suspect was arrested at the Oikokola border post in Etayi constituency in Omusati region.
The suspect was allegedly trying to cross the border into Angola.
“The information received is that the suspect was found in possession of pharmaceutical products and failed to give satisfactory or any proof of ownership of such products,” said Shikongo.
He was found in possession of medicine and other pharmaceutical products including antibiotics for adults and children, injections, gloves, cotton and condoms in a bag during a police search. The value of the pharmaceutical products could not be determined at the time of going to print.
New Era understands that the suspect claims that he got the products from Oshakati.
Executive director in the Ministry of Health and Social Services Ben Nangombe confirmed the incident.
“The matter is in the hands of the police and the ministry is also doing its own investigation. As a ministry we will take the necessary steps against the suspected person in terms of the Public Service Act,” said Nangombe.
Nangombe described the incident to be unfortunate and as sabotaging government efforts to provide essential medical services to the people. “Of concern is that as much as the government is trying to make medicine and other medical supplies available at our health facilities, we then have unfortunate incidents such as this one which literally sabotages the efforts of government to provide essential medical services to our people,” said Nangombe.
The executive director encouraged members of the public to report incidents of such nature to the relevant authorities.
“At the end of the day, if the medicine is not in our health facilities it’s our people who suffer. And it is literally also undermining the efforts of government to provide better care for our patients,” he stressed. He further encouraged the public to refrain from receiving medicine from people in the street.
“It cannot be that someone is dispensing medicine from a backpack, it should be either from the hospital or the pharmacy,” Nangombe said. Nangombe said the ministry last year issued a circular for health personnel to be searched upon arrival at work and when knocking off to curb such incidences. He said there is a need to strengthen the same operation at clinics. – firstname.lastname@example.org