R30m of expired meds found in Eastern Cape depot

2013-11-06 23:10

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Johannesburg - Expired medication worth about R30m was discovered in an unauthorised medical depot in Libode, Mthatha, this week, the Eastern Cape's health department said.

The medicines were discovered by a rapid response team which had been sent to the OR Tambo district by the Health MEC Sicelo Gqobana, said spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo.

"The medicines were exposed to heat when there was arson at the Mthatha medical depot in 2011," he said.

They were removed from the Mthatha depot to an unauthorised medical depot in Libode, where they were discovered by the team, Kupelo said.

"Why it was kept in Libode remains a mystery. It will have to be investigated."

The depot was closed with immediate effect this week.

Kupelo said old equipment was also found at a number of clinics in the district.

The equipment had been stored in consultation rooms, forcing nurses to consult patients outside the rooms.

"The equipment was moved to the offices of the managers to ensure that steps were taken to dispose of it," Kupelo said.

Clinic supervisors in the district had been issued with letters of caution.

Kupelo said the MEC would increase volunteers' R1 600 allowance to R2 000.

The volunteers included community health workers, lay counsellors and caregivers.

New equipment would also be delivered to health facilities in the district on Thursday, he said.

Read more on:    sicelo gqobana  |  east london  |  health

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