Mr. Boakai Boley
"Many pharmacies owned by NDS are empty while people are dying from curable diseases"
The newly appointed manager of the National Drug Service (NDS) has vowed to overhaul the entity and clean up its finances.
In an interview with the Daily Observer recently, Mr.Boakai Boley said he took over the institution with an account balance in the "red" and all of its facilities in ruins.
"Many pharmacies owned by NDS at various health facilities across the country are empty and there is no trace of what happened to the medicines that were placed in those pharmacies," Boley said.
He said as a result of the poor handling of the institution's responsibilities, people are dying from curable diseases across the country because essential medicines are being smuggled to neighboring countries by unscrupulous (corrupt, dishonest) individuals.
Mr. Boley said an internal investigation at the NDS points to the fact that these criminal-minded persons would loot the warehouses and go as far as setting them ablaze to avoid detection by auditors.
The intent of their action, according to him, is to blame the disappearance of the medicines and other pharmaceutical supplies on fire disasters.
He said that although he took over a near collapsed institution, he is rolling up his sleeves to ensure that the actual intent for its establishment is realized. He disclosed that he is also working on the legal papers of the institution, in order to seek legislative approval to make it an autonomous agency.
Boley believes that when that is done, the NDS will be able to put in place the safety net that would guard against stealing as well as enable it to improve access to life-saving health drugs.
Additionally, he promised to seek the approval of President George Weah to conduct a full-scale audit of the entity in order to set the pace for new dynamics going forward.
The Ministry of Health created the NDS in 1992, to procure and deliver essential medicines, medical and diagnostic supplies throughout the country.
David A. Yates