ZOMBO. Two health workers attached to Atyenda health centre II in Zombo town council, Zombo district were on Saturday arrested and detained at Paidha central police station (CPS) over alleged theft of anti-malarial drugs and rapid diagnostic test kits.

The suspects have been identified as; Mr Denis Ocwera, the in charge of the health facility and Mr Phillip Avaga Feni, an enrolled nurse attached to the facility.

The duo is being investigated over the disappearance of 90 boxes of rapid diagnostic test kits and 60 boxes of Coartem (anti-malarial drugs) worth over shs11 million.

It is alleged that Mr Ocwera went on official leave on December 26, 2019 leaving Feni to take charge of the facility but only to find the said drugs missing from the health unit drug store on his return on January 14, 2020.

Mr Ocwera reportedly informed the district health office and the police that immediately rushed to the health centre on January 18, 2020 where they found the named drugs missing and also noted forgeries on the stock cards and patients' register book.

Dr Mark Bramali, the district health officer confirmed the incident in a telephone interview on Monday evening and said his office had been receiving complaints of drug theft by some health workers but no one was brought to book due to scanty information and lack of evidence.

He said the matter is now in the hands of the police that will follow and investigate to its logical conclusion.

"We have been receiving complaints about some health workers stealing drugs from public health facilities but no arrest was made because we didn't have the information and evidence but this time around, I believe some people will be brought to book," he said.

Dr Bramali said the district health department will continue to strength its supervision and monitoring mechanisms to identify gaps in health service delivery.

Mr. Abubaker Musiho, the district police commander also confirmed that the two health workers are in their custody over alleged theft of test kits and anti-malarial drugs that went missing from the health facility store.

He said two counts under file number CRB 015/2020 have been opened as investigations into theft and criminal negligence into the matter progress.

Mr Musiho said much as Mr Feni could be responsible to some extent, Ocwera didn't have a handover report and stock taken prior to taking his leave, a circumstance that makes him culpable.

"The in charge didn't duly follow the handover procedure because we couldn't trace the handover report and previous records on the stock cards," Musiho said.

He said the duo will be produced in court this week as investigations continue with the aim on bringing the racket to book.