Lilongwe – Today, the Office of the Inspector General of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Inspector General and the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, announced the launch of two campaigns to fight drug theft in Malawi.
The Global Fund campaign, “I Speak Out Now!” and the USAID campaign, “Make a Difference” (MAD) will use one hotline as a call to action to encourage Malawians to speak out about drug theft or abuse. The MAD campaign will offer cash rewards of up to thousands of dollars for usable information leading to a conviction concerning the illegal theft, transport, possession, and sale of stolen anti-malaria medication and other commodities, such as bed nets in Malawi. The announcement comes as the world health community marks World Health Day on April 7.
Individuals with information on stolen anti-malaria medication in Malawi should call the toll-free hotline at 800 00 847 when calling from a land line, and 847 when calling from any mobile phone network. Equally, they can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. All information will be kept confidential, though if an individual wishes to be considered for a reward, s/he will need to provide identifying information.
The U.S. Ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer said, “As a leading donor of malaria treatment drugs in Malawi, the U.S. Government is extremely concerned about any diversion of donated medicines that are meant to be freely prescribed to the people of Malawi. Drug theft has to stop and the public needs to play a key role in identifying it, reporting it, and holding the people responsible accountable. The ‘Make a Difference’ hotline is a new opportunity for the Malawian public to do just that. And we applaud ongoing efforts by the Malawian Ministry of Health to deter and stop drug theft depriving its citizens of life-saving medications.”
The Global Fund Inspector General, Mouhamadou Diagne, said “The Global Fund has zero tolerance to wrongdoing and is committed to ensuring that its investments are used in the best way. When people steal medicines, it’s a child, a parent or a sibling that might die of malaria. We encourage all Malawians to speak out now to stop drug pilferage and claim the free drugs that are their fundamental human right.”
The U.S. Government, through the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, and the Global Fund currently provide nearly all of the life-saving malaria treatment drugs available free-of-charge to Malawian citizens in need. The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative has invested over US$200 million (MK140 billion) in Malawi and the Global Fund US$837 million (MK 567 billion).
For more information on the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, please visit http://www.pmi.gov/home
For more information about the Global Fund’s ‘I Speak Out Now!’ campaign, please visit www.ispeakoutnow.org
Contacts: Edward J. Monster – Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy
Marcus Muhariwa – Information Specialist, U.S. Embassy
Public Affairs Section
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