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Million Dollar Fund for Malaria Drugs in Africa Stolen

Funds donated millions of dollars to eradicate malaria have been stolen in recent years. The funds are even hundreds of millions of dollars, far exceeding the previous theft allegations.

Internal investigation by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria within two months of launching a new anti-corruption program after the confidential documents received by The Associated Press quoted as saying by Times detailing fraud in the form of grants.

In an internal document detailing the theft of drugs. The results identified 13 countries mainly in Africa, where hundreds of millions of dollars have been lost malaria drug.

According to the report, the theft of the drug was sold on the black market that looks increasingly improved and more sophisticated.

Global Fund spokesman Jon Liden, just explain the outline of the information but do not comment on the number of such thefts.

“We take this very seriously and we will do what it takes to protect our investment,” said Jon Liden, as reported by Time, on Thursday (04/21/2011).

Malaria infects more than 250 million people every year, killing about 1 million, most of them are children in Africa.

Because a lot of demand for malaria drugs to pharmacies and private parties, theft of these drugs more easily sold than the drug for other diseases such as AIDS, most of which were distributed at health clinics.

After finding the scope of the malaria drug theft, the Global Fund directly acted quickly by suspending grants for medicines stored in government warehouses, such as in Swaziland and Malawi, Africa.

The report stated that malaria drugs worth 2.5 million dollars have been stolen in Togo, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Swaziland and Cambodia, especially during the years 2009 to 2011.

Specific amount is unknown to nine other countries, all in Africa, including Nigeria and Kenya, where the Global Fund has a great program.

The results showed the total value of the stolen drugs far exceeds the 2.5 million dollar figure. In Tanzania alone, the funds from the suspects worth 200 million dollars for malaria pills were stolen.

Inspector General of the Global Fund began investigating the alleged theft of anti-malarial drugs organized in African countries, after finding that these drugs end up on drugstore shelves in African countries, not given to patients for free.

The document is the result of investigation showed that in about 70 percent of cases, drugs were stolen at the warehouse operated by government security personnel, warehouse managers and doctors.

“These cases demonstrate that drug abuse particularly well organized and planned by insiders with falsifying documents. The documents also show that the stolen drugs are shipped to other countries for resale, 1 hour after arrival,” said one report.

Some experts say the drug distribution system of the Global Fund need to be overhauled.

“If the drug is placed in a warehouse just waiting to be stolen, we need to find different ways to make sure people in need (malaria drug) really get it,” said David Sullivan, a malaria expert at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.



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