The Mozambican Ministry of Health is to cut down the number of warehouses storing medicines in an effort to reduce the amount of pharmaceuticals that are stolen. Speaking in the central city of Beira, Health Minister Nazira Abdula said a plan to end the theft of medicines has been approved, but first the Ministry must cut back the number of places where they are stored.

Cited in the Beira daily “Diario de Mocambique”, Abdula said that there are currently 150 warehouses for medicines in Mozambique. “By reducing the number of warehouses, we shall know where the medicines are and how they are being managed”, she added. “We don’t want the medicines, purchased with so much effort for the public, to be used as a source of profit for state agents”, Abdula declared. “We are working to do away with this. There is a lot of work and a lot of vigilance”.

She said the ministry is working with other bodies such as the police and the Attorney-General’s Office to exercise control over theft, and to ensure that those who do steal medicines are held responsible for their acts. She urged that anyone who suspects that medicines are being stolen should denounce the fact to the authorities.

Abdula said the Health Ministry intends to guarantee the supply of essential medicines to the public. “It’s not possible to have all medicines”, she said. “But those which are on our list of essential medicines must be available”. The Minister said that some health workers have been arrested in connection with the theft of medicines, but she gave no numbers or other details.

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