In a shocking incident, officials in the district malaria office went on to burn down medicines sent by the state to distribute in the districts in a bid to allegedly show that they performed their duties.
The staff at malaria office in Yerwada was found mixing tablets in water and disposing them whereas covers of the medicine were destroyed by putting fire.
The incident came into light, when president of a social group, Hemant Dhamdhere who was visiting his friend’s place saw some people carrying buckets filled with tablets and throwing them. Meanwhile, some other people were caught setting fire to tablet covers. When his suspicion grew he tried to confront them but instead of saying anything those people ran away into the godown. Dhamdhere then informed the police about the incident who reached the spot and locked the godown.
“When we questioned the people who were throwing away them, they said that medicines had gone bad. But, when we checked the medicines, we found out that they would expire after one month in April 2017 and most of the boxes had not even been opened”, said Dhamdhere.
The group was aiming to discard as many as 20 cartons which had malaria medicines in it. Each strip of the medicine costs somewhere around Rs 10-15.
Suresh Dhekale, district malaria office in-charge said, “When the incident occurred, I wasn’t present there. But, when questioned, I was told that the medicines had gone bad because a cat had died inside the room, therefore, there was no need to look at the expiry date.”
Satish Pawar, director, directorate of health services, said, “As per the guidelines, medicines can only be destroyed after the expiry date. Nobody has the authority to destroy them before the expiry date.” Also, an inquiry has been ordered by senior officials of state health department to probe the incident.