Benue State Disposes of N200 Million Worth of Expired Drugs, Also Set to Bury Over 100 Unclaimed Corpses
In a decisive move to address a pressing healthcare concern, the Benue State Government, on Friday, initiated the disposal of expired pharmaceuticals valued at a staggering N200 million. The solemn disposal operation took place within the premises of the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, situated along Gboko Road in Makurdi.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Stephen Hwande, had earlier announced his intent to eliminate the expired drugs, which were originally stored at the Muhammad Buhari Mother and Child Hospital in the state capital.
Speaking to a gathering of journalists during the disposal process, CMD Stephen Hwande shed light on the situation. He emphasized that the expired drugs in question were the property of the Teaching Hospital and should have been utilized for patient care. However, the circumstances leading to the drugs’ expiration remained a mystery.
“These are drugs acquired by the hospital to be used by the hospital for the patients,” CMD Hwande stated. “So why did they abandon the drugs to the point of expiration, no one can say. When you get drugs with short expiration dates, you can transfer some of these drugs to other hospitals. For instance, we have Internally Displaced Persons camps, hospitals, and you can even conduct medical outreach programs with the drugs before they expire.”
CMD Hwande went on to underscore the gravity of the situation. “There is no reason you should have drugs worth this amount of money expiring in this hospital when the entire state is in need of these life-saving medications. To ensure that our records remain impeccable, and considering that some people might mistakenly use expired drugs if left unattended, we decided to take the step to destroy them.”
When questioned about the types of drugs that were part of the disposal operation, CMD Hwande revealed the extent of the wastage. “Every kind of drugs, including antibiotics, anti-hypertensive medications, anti-malaria drugs, and consumables like iodine, bandages, urine bags—everything. This surplus could have constituted a substantial pharmacy resource for Makurdi.”
In a further revelation, CMD Hwande disclosed an alarming issue within the hospital’s facilities. He stated, “On assuming office, I conducted an inventory check of our storage facilities and discovered drugs valued at over N200 million, as well as consumables. Additionally, I found over 100 unclaimed corpses in the hospital’s morgue.”
The hospital’s management has initiated the process of addressing the unclaimed corpses and has submitted a request to the State Commissioner of Police, seeking permission to carry out their respectful disposal.