Eight grilled over theft of Sh5m HIV kits from Murang’a hospital

Murang’a Level Five Hospital. Detectives from the DCI have recorded statements from eight people following the theft of Sh5 million reagents kits used for testing HIV from the hospital. PHOTO | NDUNG'U GACHANE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The eight include two KMTC students who are interns at the hospital, two casual labourers and four staff members.
  • He said they discovered the theft on Friday when they wanted to assist the Kirinyaga County government with the kits.
  • Mr Gitau said they have also started investigations to establish whether there has been a drugs theft racket at the hospital.

Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations have recorded statements from eight people following the theft of Sh5 million reagents kits used for testing HIV from the Murang’a Level Five Hospital.

Murang’a North DCIO Japheth Maingi said they have commenced investigations into the matter, adding that once they are through, those found culpable will be arrested and charged in court.

“Yes, the suspects have recorded statements and we are investigating the matter. Those found culpable will be arrested and charged in court,” the detective told the Nation.

SUSPECTS

According to the chief officer for Health and the hospital’s medical superintendent Kanyi Gitau, the eight include two medical students from Kenya Medical Training Institute (KMTC) who are interns at the hospital, two casual labourers and four staff members.

He said they discovered the theft on Friday when they wanted to assist the Kirinyaga County government health officials with the kits as they have not received theirs from the national government but only found empty cartons. They immediately notify the authorities to commence investigations.

“We found only one carton of the kits while others worth Sh5 million were missing. There was no break-in and we believe it is an inside job and that’s why all those who had access to the store have recorded statements,” Mr Gitau told the Nation.

THEFT RACKET

Following the revelations, Mr Gitau noted, they have also started investigations to establish whether there has been a drugs theft racket at the hospital.

Lately, patients have been complaining of lack of medicine at the hospital, accusing nurses and doctors of sending them to private chemists in Murang’a town to buy the prescribed medicine.

Following the patients’ complaints, Mr Gitau wrote a circular directing all the clinical officers and the doctors to append their signatures on patient prescriptions whenever they sent them out of the hospital to buy medicine. This, he said, is meant to curb mischief by some doctors.

“We were aware that some of the rogue clinical officers and the doctors conspire with pharmacists to misguide patients to buy medicine instead of [getting it] for free at the facility hence the directive,” he said.

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