Looting at Central Medical Stores: Gang of 11 exposed

General News of Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Source: The Finder

Central Medical Store

Eleven senior officers of Central Medical Stores (CMS) in Tema were implicated in the looting of drugs six clear months before fire gutted the place, giving credence to strong suspicion of arson.

A report by the Central Medical Stores Management Committee chaired by Mr. Basil Ahiable said, “the spate of looting and dishonesty perpetrated by almost all warehouse staff are alarming.”

The report revealed that there is a network that moves both potent and expired medicines to destinations for sale.

Though the report was presented to current Health Minister, Dr Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah, in June 2014, The Finder learnt that it was never acted upon.

Immediate-past Minister of Health, Hanny Sherry Ayitey in January last year constituted the Central Medical Stores Management Committee to transform the Stores into an efficient national asset.

The affected officials include Iddrisu Abdul-Karim, Assistant Chief Supply Officer, described as a very dangerous element in the warehouse environment who agitates for personal ‘wealth creation’ at the CMS; and Gifty Esi Mankarteh, Head of Warehouse, who the report said is within the network of staff who perpetuate health commodity movement from the warehouse.

The others are J.B. Annan, Head of IT, who worked at CMS for 23 years and cannot point to his office, as he generally has no responsibility and does not attend to work; Ibrahim Laryea Amartey, Senior Supply Officer at the stationary warehouse, who worked at the CMS for more than 30 years and spearheads the movements and sale of medical commodities; Victoria Anning, Senior Supply Officer at UNICEF warehouse, who is said to be very active in malpractices at the warehouse; and Eunice Annan, Supply Officer at Programme Warehouse said to be also active in malpractices in the warehouse.

The rest are George Kwamifoli, Warehouse Supervisor (Non cold), said to be very active in malpractices in the warehouse; Mathias Senaya, Supply Officer at the warehouse, described as very active in malpractices in the warehouse; Zebaot Doh Kwadzo, Warehouse Supervisor, also said to be very active in malpractices in the warehouse; and M.C. Seidu Abilla, Senior Accountant, who has many unresolved audit queries; and Peter Gyimah, Head of CMS, who was described as very inefficient and presided over the state of affairs.

The report signed by Mr Ahiable found that a two-man contracted security staff and two Ministry of Health security personnel provide security duties at CMS.

According to the report, the security staff connive actively with others to move commodities from the warehouses during weekends and after normal working hours.

The report proposed engaging armed police to beef up security at the CMS as an interim measure while procurement is initiated for a more professional security company to take charge of the security.

The report proposed the withdrawal of the services of the staff mentioned and replaced with competent personnel with integrity with similar qualifications and positions.