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December 19, 2018

Staff charged with theft of Sh3m HIV kits in Murang’a

Murang'a County referral hospital.
Murang'a County referral hospital.

Three people were charged yesterday with stealing Sh3 million HIV testing kits from a Murang’a hospital.

Sophia Kinya, William Muhora and James Wairiuko are said to have stolen 32,400 kits from the Murang’a County Referral Hospital between May 16 and July 13.

The county employees are among the eight people who recorded statements on Saturday when the kits were found missing. They included two Kenya Medical Training College students who worked as interns.

The management discovered the theft after Kirinyaga county government sought assistance, asking for kits since their own supply had been delayed.

Yesterday, the three pleaded not guilty before principal magistrate Anthony Mwichigi and were granted Sh1 million bond or Sh200,000 bail each. The case will be heard on August 2.

Health chief officer James Gitau said there were no records to explain the disappearance. He said the theft could have been plotted by a cartel that has been blamed for a massive loss of drugs in the hospital.

Patients had complained that they were referred to private pharmacies, though the drugs they needed were available.The drugs, he said, are sold to private pharmacies or taken to clinics operated by the medics, forcing patients to pay more money to buy the drugs. 

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