January 14, 2022
By Jariatu S. Bangura
A physical inspection of the Moyamba government hospital store revealed that 133,886 assorted expired drugs were still kept in the hospital store, according to the 2020 Auditor General’s Report.
“These drugs had not been destroyed by the authorized officials, thereby affecting the storage facility. We recommend that the Medical Superintendent (M.S), the Hospital Pharmacist and the Store Clerk should ensure that expired drugs are compiled and sent to the Central Medical Store for destruction as soon as possible,” the report state.
In his response, the Medical Superintendent of the hospital said the hospital pharmacist had written a letter to the Director of Drugs and Medical Supplies, notifying him on the removal of all expired drugs and commodities in the store for appropriate disposal.
Auditors noted that despite during the verification exercise they obtained a letter written by the Hospital Pharmacist to the Director of Drugs and Medical Supplies, notifying him on the need to remove all expired drugs in store for appropriate disposal, but expired drugs were still in the hospital store and that the issue remained unresolved.
The report further revealed the absence of essential medical equipment such as pulse oximeter, oxygen, stethoscope, oxygen concentrator, thermometers, BP machines, wheelchairs, baby cots, and baby warmers, to carry out basic and major health functions that would enhance the effectiveness of health delivery in the hospital.
“Interviews conducted in various hospital units such as the paediatric ward, maternity, male and female medical wards and physical verification revealed that these equipment were either in short supply or unavailable. The lack of these equipment may affect the quick response of healthcare service to the general service in the hospital.”
They also observed that essential working equipment such as electric extensions, electric switch, ventilators, televisions, and wall clocks were not present in several medical units.
“The lack of these equipment may affect the quick response of healthcare service to the general service in the hospital.”
Auditors therefore recommended that, the Medical Superintendent, in collaboration with other stakeholders should ensure that the necessary equipment are provided to enhance the work of the medical staff of various units and the non-functioning equipment in the hospital should be repaired or replaced where needed.
In his response the Medical Superintendent said “Provision/supply of essential medical equipment such as pulse oxymeter, stethoscopes oxygen concentrators, infrared thermometers, BP machines, wheelchairs, baby cots, baby warmers is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS).
He added that essential working materials such as electrical extensions, electric switches, televisions, wall clocks amongst many are available in most clinical units.
But auditors stated that physical verification revealed that those medical equipment were still in short supply in the hospital and the issue remained unresolved and that some of the essential working equipment were now available in several medical units.