It is malaria season in the county of Rumbek, in Southern Sudan’s Lakes State. But according to Teran Gor Teran, acting medical director of Rumbek’s hospital, his facility is running out of malaria medication, putting the lives of many infected locals at risk. Teran has called upon the state to send more drugs.
But one of the main reasons for this lack, according to Malok Majak Malok, the Director of Standards in Lakes State, is the passage of legal drugs from the public hospital onto the private market.
It is true that it happens,” Malok said. Anybody who denies it, is lying.” In 2010, he says, his agency launched a campaign to check public claims that medical staff were misusing, and selling, state-supplied medicines. As a result, they found state-supplied drugs on sale on the local market; the allegations had been correct.
The government is well aware of this situation but it doesn’t want to do anything about it,” Malok complained, adding that he felt the government was playing a deadly game. Our recommendations were clear: anybody who was found selling state-supplied drugs in their pharmacy should be punished by law and have his license withdrawn.”
Allegations had already been made against Rumbek hospital staff, Malok said, who were supposedly running illegal pharmacies in the market selling drugs they smuggled out of the hospital.
Teran dismissed these allegations though. This is not happening in the main store of Rumbek hospital,” he argued. It could be happening in some of the other departmental stores though. But checking on this is the responsibility of the Ministry. It’s not our responsibility as doctors.”