The Ministry of Health has addressed a recent claim from social media and online audios regarding allegations of Government medicines being smuggled from Central Medical Stores to Senegal through small boats.
According to the Ministry of Health, these allegations are baseless and lack credible evidence.
The allegations were made claims by Journalist Pa Modou Bojang of the “Membe Kering” radio program, who alleges that medicines were being smuggled to Senegal by a staff of the Central Medical Stores by one Ousainou Marenah with the phone numbers registered in the name of Essa Marenah.
However, after investigations by the Ministry of Health, it was found that the medicines were imported by a private pharmacy operator named Ousainou Mahanera of Victory Pharmacy. The said medicines were sold to a client in Senegal. They were intercepted by members of The Gambia Navy at the Brufut Beach during boarding. Osainou Marenah was invited by security, and he appeared in person and confirmed that the medicines belonged to him.
The health ministry’s latest press release reads, ‘’We wish to inform the general public that this incident took place since September 2023 and the said medicines do not belong to the Ministry of Health and Mr. Ousainou Mahanera is neither a staff of the Ministry of Health nor the government of The Gambia. Let the general public know that these medications passed through the Gambia Ports Authority and all taxes were paid as evidenced by payment receipts from the Gambia Revenue Authority’’.
The Ministry of Health further added that it would like to assure the public that there is no truth to the allegations. Such accusations are not only unfounded but also damaging to the reputation of the staff of the Ministry.
Hence, the Ministry wishes to assure everyone that it takes pride in serving the Gambian populace with high integrity and professionalism. It also encourages responsible reporting by the media and fact-checking by all social media users.
In this regard, the health ministry called on the reporter Pa Modou Bojang of the “Membe Kering” radio program to provide the correct information on this incident and clear the allegations directed towards the Ministry of Health and the staff whose names were maliciously mentioned.