$5.5 mil TPLF bonanza: Ethiopia’s health ministry mired again on HIV/aids test kits related corruption

8 Jun

Editor’s Note:

    It all started, when Dr. Tedros Adhanom was minister of health (2005-2012). Therefore, monies secured from philanthropists and US government contributions and others into the Global Fund, flowed to Ethiopia to help fight HIV/aids, malaria, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases and improve the health of Ethiopians.

    Given the relations between the state on one hand and laws on the other and citizens still on the other in Ethiopia, Dr. Tedros Adhanom has been member of the TPLF politburo and a person above the law. He was in no danger of being accused of corruption or removed from his post.Adhanom

    Outside power struggle, it is only two senior TPLF members in the past 25 years – one in ERCA and the other in INSA, both of them deputy heads of their respective agencies – that were accused of corruption and sent to prison.

    However, as a top member of the TPLF leadership and a donor darling in Ethiopia, Dr. Tedros used part of the charity meant to help HIV/aids Ethiopian victims, to finance the purchase of media equipment and consultancy services with hefty payments to the TPLF propaganda outlets Walta and Fana. This does not mean the Global Fund did not know anything about this. They had picked him chairman and had to swallow it, it appears. Lately, we hear auditors have asked Ethiopia to reimburse, among others, over seven million dollars money incurred during his tenure as unauthorized expenditures.

    We had discussed this in our April 18, 2016 article Does Dr. Tedros Adhanom have the requisite qualifications to become next WHO Director-General?

    Bad habits never die. As a matter of fact, now the health ministry is being accused of burrowed from within due to corruption by the TPLF agents and those at the finance ministry, individuals and officials responsible for purchase of equipment on behalf of government offices. Again the victim is the HIV/Aids tuberculosis, malaria accounts – mostly 95 percent of the monies coming in aid.

    Agents of the TPLF did it again in 2015/2016. Legal bidders were pushed out. Instead, the Beijing based Wanti Biological Pharmacy Enterprise is made the winner of the supply contracts. Interestingly, we learn two things: This is the first time the company has supplied any medical product to Ethiopia. Secondly, the company and its products have not been registered the Food, Medicine, Healthcare Administration & Control Authority (FMHACA).

    This is how the TPLF leadership use their family members to amass illegal monies and build businesses, high rise buildings and villas on lands seized from the people. This is not sign of healthy economic growth; nor is it safe path to the future for the country and its people.

    Investors and some Western companies and governments are partners in this unholy alliance.

    Please stop destroying our country’s future! Please stop using corrupt TPLF officials and their minions that are political wheelers and dealers and the country’s leadership that has its eyes on permanence in power, extracting its affluence of power and wealth from unlawful transactions! When it is too late, it would be too late for anything and everything!

 

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
by Addis Fortune
 

The country has awarded a contract for purchase of HIV test kits required for one year, at the cost of 5.5 million dollars, yet without an established algorithm.

This is not the first grey area in this HIV test kits purchase, series of back and forth and allegations claims and counter claims have surrounded it for the last two years.

This has led to anticipated shortage which led to procurment of six million test kits, not based on algorithm but on the preliminary basis of WHO pre-qualified status.

“It is okay to depend on WHO qualification for performance” Taye Tolera, (MD) said last month on an interview he had with Fortune. ” Algorithm however is critical for logistics and management issue.”

It was on the same interview that he told fortune, buying without established algorithm is not a rule but an exception that works perfectly. He further asserted that the six million would bridge the gap for six months, which the country was expected to establish by which time the algorithm will have been developed and finalised. He further said that, after this, Ethiopia would set three to four algorithms based on the available test kits that qualify under the nation’s standards.

The recent 5.5 million dollars purchase has come weeks after the interview.

Bejing Wanti Biological Pharmacy Enterprise, is the company that won the bid. This is the first time the company has supplied any medical product to the country.

The company and of its products have not been registered with Food, Medicine, Healthcare Administration & Control Authority (FMHACA).

Registration by the Authority however is a legal pre-condition for any product to be purchased or imported to the country.

The bid document, marked this pre-condition however as non-applicable, and provided with alternative standards.

In the tender documents, it was stated that the suppliers have to be pre-qualified by the WHO. In case their products are not registered in Ethiopia by the FMHACA, the respective supplier is supposed to have the appropriate ISO certificate for HIV rapid test kit grade manufacturing, and GMP and FSC certificates issued by an authorised body in the country of origin.

The law was revised by the tender document.

This opened a door for the Bejing Wanti Biological Pharmacy Enterprise which has managed to win the competition in a bid to supply 11.4 million kits, with a unit cost of 0.5 dollars. The three other competitors failed based on technical qualifications.

Abon Biopharm and AHI (AVACARE INTERNATIONAL), companies from China and US, failed because they offered a product code that is not on the WHO pre-qualification list of vitro diagnostic products. Whereas Medica Pharma JLT, a local veteran of the business for the past decade, could not pass because it did not provide lancet and alcohol as was stated in the bid document.

Dawit G. Egizabher, co-owner of Medica, told Fortune that the reason for not supplying the lancet was that the procuring body did not indicate the specification of lancet required. Thus, the offers made by Medica excluded this.

In previous purchases, the customary practice was that the Agency would specifically indicate the specifications.

The fact that the PFSA have ordered the purchase of the lancet together with the kits from the supplier is not wise, said Dawit. Because the HIV kit suppliers purchase it direct from the manufacture and then resell it to the Agency by adding value along with the kits, it will cost more and create wastage.

Back in the day, these lancets used to be purchased separately from the manufacturers, Dawit recalls.

Regarding the six million kits that have already been delivered, as they were purchased without the algorithm, close to 20,000 health officers have had to be trained to familiarise them with the product. The same will apply to the latest purchase too, which will also require product oriented training.

“This will come at a huge cost to the country,” said Dawit.

Meidca Pharma, the company that was at into loggerhead with the Ministry of health on the six million test kits supplies has again ended up filing a complaint on two grounds to the Public procurment Agency, under the Ministry of Finance & Economic Cooperation.

His points revolve around his claim that the tender is illegal from the outset, and objecting his company’s rejection on technical basis.

However, in a response letter signed by Girma Goje, head of Property Disposal Execution & Compliant Investigation Board, Medica’s claim has been rejected. The letter stated that Medica was supposed to raise its claim, as the purchase was still at the technical stage.

The Chinese company is expected to deliver the 11 million test kits in two months time.
 

Related:

    Dying to speak out: Would Dawit G. Egziyabher spill out MOH’s Global Funds-related corruption from Tedros Adhanom days, now WHO DG candidate? Or is the former MOH supplier engaged in pressuring MOH’s for lucrative business deal?

    The TPLF did it again! $5mil HIV testing equipment purchased from uncertified supplier

 

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