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ACC Chief hands over impounded drugs to Health Ministry

News Item

The Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara has handed over a consignment of assorted drugs impounded during a joint raid by the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) and the ACC to the Ministry of Health.

Giving a background to the raid, the Director of Public Education and External Outreach, ACC, Shollay Davies said that the SLP received a tip-off that drugs meant for the Free Health Care System were kept in a building at Tejan Street, Calaba Town in the West of Freetown. He said the first search was conducted on the 17th of August, 2013 and the drugs were discovered and seized. He said the second search on the already deserted premise a week later led to the discovery of documents relevant to a claimant 18173607 Emmanuel Senessie, believed to be an officer of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces.  Mr. Davies said an examination of the drugs by Pharmacy Board showed that they were neither Free Healthcare drugs nor cost recovery drugs. He said the claimant initially said that the drugs belonged to his wife but never showed up again. “The house is presently deserted giving suspicion that the drugs could probably have been smuggled into the country,” Mr. Davies noted.

Speaking at the ceremony, the ACC Commissioner said reviews on the Ministry of Health have shown that the ministry is highly sensitive and vulnerable to corruption. He said the ministry should be more judicious in the use of its resources as it receives some of the largest support from the government and donors. He said it seemed there have been problems with the distribution chain of the Free Health Care and cost recovery drugs and therefore urged the ministry to look into the issue. Mr. Kamara also called on the ministry officials to regard themselves as partners to the Commission to enhance a multi-dimensional and mutual working relationship and instill integrity in the ministry. He said the ACC is also working to ensure that the wellbeing of the people of the country is enhanced, announcing that the Commission would soon start probing into how public projects are being implemented.

The Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Brima Kargbo recognized the role of the ACC in not only fighting corruption but also enhancing the wellbeing of the people. He said the ministry is also concerned about the problems associated with the distribution chain of drugs in the country.  He said this is why the ministry is currently working on a bill that would enhance the regulation of drugs and other related products.