North West health probes baby milk formula scandal

2014-04-04 10:53

The North West health department is investigating why a quarter of 20 000 cases of baby milk formula had to be destroyed.

The baby milk formula was meant for more than 7 000 HIV-positive mothers, department spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane said today.

According to the Mail & Guardian newspaper, the department bought baby milk formula worth R7 million in May 2011 but failed to distribute it for three years.

The department subsequently had to pay almost R2?million to incinerate the expired milk in January.

Lekgethwane said the department had to cater for HIV- positive babies until March 31 2012 when a new policy which advocated breast feeding exclusively had to be phased in.

“The department continued to distribute the baby formula to HIV-positive mothers who needed it and others who were having problems breast feeding,” he said.

The milk was distributed to mothers but the department was left with a surplus.

“The challenge came in when the milk was reaching its expiry date in October ... to us it is normal to destroy anything that has reached its expiry date,” Lekgethwane said.

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