Gambia: Gambia’s Health Ministry Reacts To Allegations Of D11 Million Dialysis Procurement Kickback Accusations!

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Dear Mr Mbaye
Please find attached press reaction to the recently published article on the Freedom Newspaper report of 1st Sept. 2020 against the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Muhamadou Lamin Jaiteh over the Haemodilysis issue for immediate release on your media platform.
Thank you so much for much for the support.
Modou Njai
Public Health (Health Promotion) Specialist
Director of Health Promotion and Education
 
Ministry of Health

Banjul, The Gambia
West Africa

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REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA

MINISTRY OF HEALTH

THE QUADRANGLE

BANJUL                                                                                             

Wednesday 2nd September 2020

Dear Proprietor Freedom Newspaper,

Please allow me space in your Newspaper to respond in no uncertain terms to yet the so-called whistle blower whose story was carried in your September 1st 2020 edition entitled “HEALTH PS JAITEH’S FAILED ATTEMPT TO MASQUERADE MILLION OF KICKBACKS”

First and foremost, let me state categorically that this story of his is unfounded, riddled with fabrication, concoction, guesswork and lies. To my greater surprise (and I guess to the bewilderment of many of your readers), the writer despite his claim of many years of experience and knowhow in medicine, has failed to provide a single piece of factual data, to make a credible case. Any reasonable reader would expect him/her to do better this time around in terms of giving factual detail to prove his allegations, as I had challenged him/her in my Kerr Fatou appearance. Let me at this juncture, unveil first how and where he/she has failed to prove him/herself before providing readers with factual proofs of my defence based on existing records. Let me caution that your inept writer may after seeing my side and facts, resurface to fill the void in his story based on my report and I would not be surprised that he/she would leverage on your media outlet to do so as usual.

The writer’s first misleading statement is contained in this quote “For those who did know PS Jaiteh claimed on Kerr Fatou interview the Dialysis they single source to Atlas recently are reused”.

Mr. Proprietor, anyone who listened to the above quoted interview knows that I never mentioned these words anywhere during this interview and you can prove this since you have the records. The writer further claimed and I quote “The fact of the matter is that the same products and quantity that were purchased from the same supplier Atlas Trading of Mbye Bahoum in April, which was also single sourced, and was to cover three months supply, cost only D5 million”. This claim is fallacious and mere guesswork representing the writer’s second misinformation to the reader and it proves my claim that he/she is merely fabricating. The approved sum contained in both the GPPA letter ref: GPPA/MoHSW/TR 5/20/(4) (S.N) of 23rd March, 2020 and the contract signed for the said supply with Ref: SS/01/2020 is for the amount of D4,514,210.00 and NOT D5 million as falsely reported by the writer.

Secondly, the so-called whistle blower is asking the question “Why the sum of D23,000,000 alleged by him/her is for 4 months”.

Mr. Proprietor, you would recall that in my Kerr Fatou interview, I had clearly explained that there are clear cut specification differences as far as our records are concern, unless if in the writer’s myopic memory, he/she could not get that. What he/she has failed to show which further confirms his/her lack of basis, is to give proofs as to why not? I believe if he/she has the evidence, he/she could have provided these to back his/her points.

The writer has also failed to explicitly back his/her claim that there is – as alleged “astronomical escalation of the bill for the same items by 70 percent more than the actual”. He/she did not state (1) against what quantities (2) the type of item or its specification and (3) Whether his/her alleged escalation affects all the items on the contract or only a particular item?

Again referring you to my Kerr Fatou interview, I had made it categorically clear that there is a difference in product specification as per the request received from Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) which listed all the items and their quantities. Because the ignorant writer did not give the product description or specifications of the items he/she is referring to, I find it very difficult at this point to pinpoint which of the items is the basis of his/her claim from among the EFSTH listed items and as far as the current single source contract is concern.

The following list of items are on our record as contained in the contract in reference:

Dialyzer (Fx5)

Dialyzer (Fx8)

Dialyzer (Fx10)

Bloodline (Fresenius Medical Care 2008/4008)

Bicarbonate for the small machine (4008B,4008S)

Bicarbonate for the big machine (4008H)

Bicarbonate 5008

Acetate solution 1+34 or 44 Acid

Fistular needle size 15g

Fistular needle size 16g

Fistular needle size 17g

Enoxaparin 4000 IU (low molecular weight)

Heparin Sodium 5,000 IU ml

Erythroropoientin 4000 IU/ml

Acute Dialysis Catheter (size 20cm)

Acute Dialysis Catheter (Size 24cm)

Acute Dialysis Catheter (Size 28 cm)

Permanent Dialysis Catheter (size 28+ cm)

Permanent Dialysis Catheter (size 32 cm)

Paediatric Acute Dialysis Catheter (size 15cm)

Iron Sucros 100mg/5ml injection

For water plant (puresteril)

Diasafe

Diaquat peroxide test Srips

As far as our records are concern, none of the above items is procured under this particular contract at the prices referenced by the so-called whistle blower. You are free to confirm this from invoices # 000097 and 000098 dated 24-07-2020 from Atlas Trading Enterprise for this transaction. These invoices have no D3000 or D10,000 as unit price for any of the items and so I challenge the writer to produce his/her evidence and basis of his/her allegation.

Furthermore, as the writer is banking on the April Contract, let me take this time to reproduce below a tabulation of the items on the said April contract, the prices quoted by Atlas on Invoice # 000071 dated 24 -02-2020 for each contract:

QTY

April 2020

QTY

August 2020

Description Unit Price April 2020 Unit Price August 2020
2774 5547 Dialysis 500 520
2990 2990 Bicarbonate 410 520
1495 2990 Biacarbonate 650g-900g 410 520
2084 4167 Acetate +34 415 600
37 40 Central Venous Catheter 5500 3500
22 44 Diasafe 10000 5000

 

Mr. Proprietor from the table above, your entire readership should now be able to see by mere comparison the blatant inaccuracies and inconsistences contained in the fabricated misinformation from this so-call whistle blower. You could see that all quantities quoted in the current contract are higher compared to the April one. The figures before you have proven for example a 50 percent price reduction for Diasafe as against the so-call whistle blower’s inaccurate and falsified claim of inflated amounts. Going by the above figures, let the said writer explain and prove how any person would make his/her alleged kickback of D11 million out of this transaction.

Finally, Mr. Proprietor, I believe your respected audience should by now see the inaccuracies in the said writer’s story to judge for themselves. All I want to put across is that the well-meaning and productive staff of this Ministry are very busy working day and night to save lives and improve the general good of the masses. On the contrary however, this so-call insider who claims to have spent all his/her life in the medical field, has nothing to show for his/her acclaimed lifelong service but a portrayal of ineptitude, pettiness and slander. Those of us busy do not have time for such unproductive behaviour and so we will neither be bothered, nor distracted from the good course we are pursuing. As reiterated by my genuine colleague the GPPA Director General, single sourcing is part and parcel of the GPPA Regulation as one of the methods and it shall be applied just like the other authorized procurement methods as long as the conditions warrants it in accordance with the prescribe rules, especially when the need arises.

Mr. Proprietor, you may not know what it means for these patients with renal failure who cannot dialyze without these items. These patients and their families go through a lot of hardship and even potential loss of life without haemodialysis. The single sourcing is meant to fill in the gap before the actual supplies arrive. These actual supply your informer should have told you, were advertised and a winner was selected using standard GPPA procedures. I want to ask you, should we wait until these actual supplies come in three to four months or should we single source to fill in the gap?  Mr. Proprietor, if you were in my shoes, what would you have done???

Each patient that undergoes haemodialysis receives three sessions per week and each of these sessions cost about D2,380.95 per session. Thus for three sessions this amounts to D7,142.85 per week. How many Gambians can afford this? I think you will agree with me that the stop-gap single sourcing to acquire these emergency life-saving materials for our haemodialysis patients is justified because if we didn’t the majority of these cannot afford this and it may lead to loss of lives.

Muhamadou Lamin Jaiteh

Permanent Secretary 1

MoH

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