Pharmacists, Hospital MD In Drug Racketeering Scandal As Uduaghan’s Acclaimed Free Maternal Health Care Extorts Pregnant Women in Delta

By SaharaReporters, New York

Startling revelations are emerging in across hospitals in Delta State that the government’s well-publicized free health maternal care services for pregnant women and children under five years of age are nothing but deceptive political propaganda characterized by gross extortion of pregnant women.

At the Ughelli Central Hospital, our investigation shows that pharmacists and the Medical Director have turned the purported free health programme of the Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan administration into a lucrative business, allegedly hoarding the drugs that are then sold to patients, and sharing the money.

Since the inception of the exercise, our reporter can authoritatively report that over 70 percent of the program has seen payment for ante-natal treatment, delivery and treatments of children under five, contrary to the propaganda of the government that such services are now free. 

A similar situation exists at the Central Hospital, Sapele, where, for treatment of children under age five and pregnant women, families are being made to pay between N4,000 and N5,000.

What is worse, those undergoing ante-natal treatment and as well as those due for labour are tasked with buying 12 litres of diesel to power the generator for the theatre.

It was found during our investigation that drugs that originally were meant for ante-natal mothers are being hoarded and taken to private pharmacy stores.  Apart from the branded “Uduaghan Paracetamol,” virtually every other drug needed for the free Under-Five and Maternal Health Care programmes are being bought outside the hospital.

Further investigations have revealed that these extortions are been carried out across the state’s hospitals and monies not remitted to the state coffer.

At the Oleh General Hospital, headquarters of the Isoko South local government area, a six months pregnant woman, Mrs. Francis Juliana, who went for ante-natal and the treatment of her three year old, was made to cough out the sum of N4,610.000 and N2,500, 000 respectively including other unaccounted payments.

In an interview with our reporter, Mrs. Francis said the payments were made between December 28, 2012 and January, 1, 2013 at the hospital as all attempts by the patient’s relative to find out what the payments were meant for proved abortive.  As in other government-owned hospitals throughout the State, nobody was willing to give them a definite answer.

Displaying some of her receipts of payment at the hospital, Mrs. Francis lamented what she described as the deceptive free maternal health care programme of the Uduaghan’s administration.

An impeccable hospital source at the Okwe General Hospital in the state capital, told our report, “There are a list of drugs by the government to be given free to patients under the Under-Five and Maternal Health Care treatments but are being sold out and is not as if the state government is not aware of such practices as no single culprit has ever be prosecuted by the government hence the practices have continued in nearly all the hospitals across the state.”

In a related development, the Ughelli Central Hospital has been termed a den of hoarding and selling of government drugs meant for patients.

Being accused are the pharmacists, Mr. Miller H. Eguriase, the Head of Pharmacy Department of the hospital, Mr. Oscar Amatesiro and the Medical Director, Mr. Moses Eyovwerhuvwu and other staff.

They are allegedly involved in the selling of drugs into their private pockets, hoarding of drugs, and diverting of drugs meant for the so-called free maternal health care programme to private pharmacy stores where patients are directed to purchase drugs.

A staff told our reporter that such cases are not peculiar to a particular hospital as it has become a normal practice in government owned hospitals due to lack of proper supervision and checks and balances by the Delta State Hospital Management Board, the Commissioner of Health and the supervising Ministry.

Our reporter gathered that Mr. Eguriase has been sacked for allegedly defrauding the state government by hoarding, diverting and selling drugs but is insisting he was sacked for exposing illicit practices in the hospital.

The embattled Egurias has written a petition, made available to SaharaReporters, entitled “The wrongful Termination of my Temporary Appointment by the Honourable Commissioner for Health Delta State (Dr. Joseph Otumara) without Fair Hearing given to me in Breach of the Civil Service Rules”.  It was addressed to the Director of Pharmaceutical Service; the Permanent Secretary and the Commissioner of Health, both of the Delta State Ministry of Health, as well as others.  The petitioner indicted the Head of Pharmacy Department of the hospital, Mr. Oscar Amatesiro and the MD alleging that they are the main culprits involved in the drugs racketeering.

Mr. Eguriase accused the hospital Medical Director, Mr. Moses Eyovwerhuvwu and the Head of Pharmacy Department, Mr. Amatesiro of drugs racketeering in the hospital which are meant for patients.

“My appointment was terminated because of my refusal to play ball with Mr. Amatesiro, who had at various times boasted that he would get me out of the system using his Itsekiris’ connection to sack me from the Ministry despite his culpability in the misconduct of directing patients to his private pharmacy which is a walking distance from the hospital as against the 200 meters away as stipulated and a calendar with his pharmacy address, phone number and picture hanging in strategic locations and offices all over the hospital. I am not allowing Mr. Amatesiro to run the pharmacy department as a personal enterprise so as to enable him (Amatesiro) make up for the huge deficit accumulated between August 2012 to December 2012 amongst other criminal activities in connivance with the MD.”

Investigations have also revealed that the state Commissioner of Health, Dr. Otumara, Mr. Amatesiro’s kinsman, has deliberately ignored the calls to investigate the alleged involvement of Mr. Amatesiro, Mr. Eyovwerhuvwu, the MD and all those involved in the scandal.

When contacted, Mr. Amatesiro and Mr. Eyovwerhuvwu debunked all the allegations, claiming they are merely the fallout from an election for the position of the MD where his candidate, one Dr. I. Cheikwe, lost out as MD.

All calls and text messages to Dr. Otumara’s for his reaction on the issue at stake were ignored, but staff in his office who pleaded for anonymity disclosed that the Commissioner and the governor are merely deceiving Deltans with the so-called free maternal health service.

According to the staff, “There is no way the commissioner can exonerate himself of all these malpractices going on in the hospitals across the state. When the issue of the Ughelli Central Hospital was brought to him, instead of setting up a panel to look into the issue as well as looking into some petitions brought concerning the issue, my boss deliberately kept deaf ears because his Itsekiri kinsman, Mr. Amatesiro and some of his loyalists were involved in the racketeering and he went ahead to sack one particular person just to deceive the people that government doesn’t condone such sharp practices. Ask him how many persons they have sacked since the inception of the programme, or are workers not being caught in the act?”

Reacting to the developments by text message, the Commissioner of Information, Mr. Chike Ogeah, stated, “Well this is a bad news for us in the government as a few bad eggs are bent on rubbishing the hard earned image of this government in the Health sector knowing how passionate the Governor is about this sector. We shall investigate all such malpractices and culprits will face the full wrath of d Law.”

Meanwhile as of the time of this report, it was reliably gathered that the management of the Ughelli Central Hospital has doled out huge sums of money to some local journalists to kill the story.

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I disagree with Sahara

I disagree with Sahara reporters on the allegation that the free health maternal care service for pregnant women and children is mere propaganda. If it is then there would have been no witness of beneficiaries of the scheme over the years.

I saw online the case of a woman who had multiple fibroid of the uterus, who benefited from the free Delta state’s free health care and I’m sure there are many more cases like that exist.

Let Journalist begin to focus on the main issues of fishing out such culprits that misuse government's programme and stop accusing the governor who might have no idea of such incidents.

Delta Government Is Working So Save your Strength

Please! Please!! Please!!!, let Sahara save themselves the headache of trying to convince anyone out there that the Government of Delta State is not running a free maternal health care programme. I have personally noticed that Sahara finds pleasure in criticism.

One thing is sure, there people who have benefited from the scheme one way or the other.

Ask yourself how an MD that just assumed office is accused of being part of the allegation.

TRY SOMETHING ELSE!

Sahara Reporters have always been known for selling cheap blackmail across to the masses.

I am no saying that it is not possible that there are some corrupt eggs in government, but that does not erase the past records of achievement of the Uduaghan Administration in the Health Sector.

One thing is certain, the Governor cannot be everywhere at a time.

There are bodies responsible for checking the excesses of government officials and I am certain that upon investigation, such culprits will be brought to book.

QUIT CHEAP JOURNALISM

How sad it is to know that Journalism in Nigeria has become an avenue to promote cheap smear campaigns and blackmail. It is one thing to expose Corrupt Government Officials, but it another to try and wipe off the reality of the success of a Governor who has toiled so hard to see that quality Health Care for his people is given utmost priority.

If the reporters of this story are kind enough to expose such alleged corrupt officials, why not do so without crucifying the Governor who I am sure would act upon finding out that such practices exist, that is if they are true.

Permit me to say that based on this story, the authenticity of the source of information is questionable.

Failed free health care programme

Those who are discrediting this story should go to any of thehospitals and verify. Another evidence that the free health programme has failed is the fact that, presently there is a ceiling of how much the government is wiling to spend per under-5 patient. For outpatient, it is #250 and for inpatient #1000. That means if a patient requires treatment that exceeds these amount, he or she is told to buy the drug outside. The question is what is #250 when it comes to drugs. So you can see why most patient are asked to go and buy the drugs outside. The pharmacist would not want to sell the drug to the patient because of the fear that it will go out there that under-5 patients now buy drugs in the hospitals. If anyone doubt this angle to the story just visit any of the hospitals. Let the whole world know that all the hospitals in delta state are dilapidated may except the Eku hospital that is being renovated

POOR journalists skills

Your investigative reporting is flowed...........you just go and ask questions and without evidence report them.....look at how Aljazira go about thier investigative journalism leading to arrest of culprit...I blame the low mentality of Nigerians that make people think you guys are wow!!!shame on you Shahara or Sahaba reporters..........investigate, invest in the investigation, infiltrate the system,come out with evidence and expose the culprits red handed......

RE DELTA STATE HOSPITALS THIS IS NOT A NEW THING

PLEASE YOU PEOPLE HAVE JUST FOCUSED ON THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH /DELTA STATE HMB.THE CORRUPTION IN THE COUNTRY HAS PERMEATED ALL THE SECTORS EVEN IN THE HOUSE OF GOD WHERE IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE A SACRILEGE .LET ME NARRATE MY EXPERIENCES
1.I WENT TO THE INTERNAL REVENUE OFFICE IN ASABA ALONG EZENEI ROAD TO GET MY TAX CLEARANCE BEING A CIVIL SERVANT IN DELTA STATE I WAS ASKED TO BRIBE WITH A CERTAIN AMOUNT BEFORE IT COULD ISSUED DESPITE THAT I HAVE A LETTER FROM MY MINISTRY DETAILING MY SALARY AND TAX FOR THE PREVIOUS THREE YEARS.
2.I WENT TO MINISTRY OF LANDS AND SURVEY AT ASABA,UGHELLI ,SAPELE FOR APPROVAL OF BUILDING PLAN AND CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY .I WAS FORCED TO BRIBE BEFORE THE APPROVAL EVEN WHEN ALL THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS WERW ATTACHED.
3. CORRUPTION IS EVERY WHERE AND THE ONLY WAY TO FIGHT IT IS A TOTAL CHANGE OF THE SYSTEM
4.THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STSTE IS NOT THE HUSBAND OF DR CAROLINE AJUYAH BUT THE BROTHER IN LAW

RE DELTA STATE HOSPITALS THIS IS NOT A NEW THING

PLEASE YOU PEOPLE HAVE JUST FOCUSED ON THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH /DELTA STATE HMB.THE CORRUPTION IN THE COUNTRY HAS PERMEATED ALL THE SECTORS EVEN IN THE HOUSE OF GOD WHERE IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE A SACRILEGE .LET ME NARRATE MY EXPERIENCES
1.I WENT TO THE INTERNAL REVENUE OFFICE IN ASABA ALONG EZENEI ROAD TO GET MY TAX CLEARANCE BEING A CIVIL SERVANT IN DELTA STATE I WAS ASKED TO BRIBE WITH A CERTAIN AMOUNT BEFORE IT COULD ISSUED DESPITE THAT I HAVE A LETTER FROM MY MINISTRY DETAILING MY SALARY AND TAX FOR THE PREVIOUS THREE YEARS.
2.I WENT TO MINISTRY OF LANDS AND SURVEY AT ASABA,UGHELLI ,SAPELE FOR APPROVAL OF BUILDING PLAN AND CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY .I WAS FORCED TO BRIBE BEFORE THE APPROVAL EVEN WHEN ALL THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS WERW ATTACHED.
3. CORRUPTION IS EVERY WHERE AND THE ONLY WAY TO FIGHT IT IS A TOTAL CHANGE OF THE SYSTEM
4.THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STSTE IS NOT THE HUSBAND OF DR CAROLINE AJUYAH BUT THE BROTHER IN LAW

Na wa ooo!

Its a wonder that you guys still call urself journalists when all u do is conjecture and ruin people's reputations.
If u wanted to provide proof why didn't you display a scan for the alleged N4,610 or N2,500. And while u're at it why didn't you show the bio page of Mrs. Francis Juliana's form so we can see that she is truly a maternity patient of the General Hospital.
Na wa ooo!

SR has done it again!!!

Wonderful, Sahara Reporters has done it again!!!
SR is the only "Objective" news publication that can conceivably blame the "unproven" actions of a few corrupt officials on a government whose only crime was to put the needs of the people first.

So every atrocity committed by a bad follower is the leader's fault. By that reasoning I guess SR would expect us to blame Jesus for Judas Iscariot's betrayal abi?

I'm not trying to offend anybody or be blasphemous, I'm just saying SR should credit us with a little intelligence and minds of our own before the try to shove their lame conspiracy theories down our throat.

THIS IS NOT A NEW THING IN DELTA HOSPITALS

Thank you SR for reminding the government that their so called free medical services is a mirage and deceptive. Many of the Consultants/MDs are reaping the government through and through. Is it at Ekpan General Hospital Central Hospital or any other? Surgeries are carried out and not accounted for.The doctors try their best to kill the laboratories and the pharmacies after they make arrangement with Medical laboratories and pharmacies to collect percentages in return. Even the HMB director Dr,. Caroline Ajuyah cannot claim ignorance of this. She is Itsekiri too and has a powerful husband Mr Ajuyah who is the Attorney-General of the state.

THIS IS NOT A NEW THING IN DELTA HOSPITALS

Thank you SR for reminding the government that their so called free medical services is a mirage and deceptive. Many of the Consultants/MDs are reaping the government through and through. Is it at Ekpan General Hospital Central Hospital or any other? Surgeries are carried out and not accounted for.The doctors try their best to kill the laboratories and the pharmacies after they make arrangement with Medical laboratories and pharmacies to collect percentages in return. Even the HMB director Dr,. Caroline Ajuyah cannot claim ignorance of this. She is Itsekiri too and has a powerful husband Mr Ajuyah who is the Attorney-General of the state.

THIS IS NOT A NEW THING IN DELTA HOSPITALS

Thank you SR for reminding the government that their so called free medical services is a mirage and deceptive. Many of the Consultants/MDs are reaping the government through and through. Is it at Ekpan General Hospital Central Hospital or any other? Surgeries are carried out and not accounted for.The doctors try their best to kill the laboratories and the pharmacies after they make arrangement with Medical laboratories and pharmacies to collect percentages in return. Even the HMB director Dr,. Caroline Ajuyah cannot claim ignorance of this. She is Itsekiri too and has a powerful husband Mr Ajuyah who is the Attorney-General of the state.

Fraud in govt hospitals

The md only took over Jan 1st this year so he could not have connived with any pharmacist or staff to defraud the government as he was not the md last year.sahara reporter report yourself. You have been bribed by the disgruntled former md who lost re-election woefully to publish this rubbish. Are u immuned to libel suit? Coward. The governor has done a lot health care- wise. Praise him and abandon junk journalism.

Bans well.

Fraud in govt hospitals

The md only took over Jan 1st this year so he could not have connived with any pharmacist or staff to defraud the government as he was not the md last year.sahara reporter report yourself. You have been bribed by the disgruntled former md who lost re-election woefully to publish this rubbish. Are u immuned to libel suit? Coward. The governor has done a lot health care- wise. Praise him and abandon junk journalism.

Bans well.

Uduaghan with failed promises in Geneva to Delta again?

How can a state governor who refuses to show gratitude to those who worked day and night to re-position him and his state abroad, not be found wanting in the discharge of his duties to the electorate? Having deceived them in Switzerland and gotten away with it, they would stop at nothing in selling fake drugs to the masses. With his external Relations Adviser as his points man abroad, drug companies in Europe are in for some big shock! With most of their fake promissory notes now in circulation overseas, yet to be discovered! Nothing stops them from erecting empires of their own around the globe. And by the time DS will would finish duping unsuspecting firms abroad, the image of the FGN will have taken a terrible beating for it!

Uduaghan Paracetamo

why not Brand it as Delta state Paracetamo instead of Uduaghan Paracetamo is this how you thing bad adviser in our country.you will all go to jail one way or the other.you have use the state money and the glory goes to you,Nigerians should think how not to welcome all this political criminals.

na wa

@sanco Ovie, so your spread of bile has no jurisdiction? You came all the way to sahara to discredit the truth abi?

Answer these:
Do you know juliana in the first place?
Where you there when she was billed for medical services at Oleh?
Have you investigated the cashier that signed the receipt? The signature and receipt numbers is evident there.

Sanco, it is very sardonic that you run to town shouting blackmail when you have little or no information about the issue at stake. Go home to your masters, ask them to weed the workforce first or similar issues will continue to happen.

It will be of benefit too if you will educate us on who is covered in the scheme and what is covered. FREE seem to all embracing for the program.

Fake free health care

Nigerians, we have refused to change. Nepotism will drown us. So even with a copy of receipt shown,some persons have the audacity to discredit this report. Is the Delta hospitals meant to treat people from Anambra and Imo? As if thats the issue. Shame on Uduaghan.

Uduaghan, Act!

With these revelations, it is hoped that Uduaghan will take all necessary measures to clean this mess. He must not shield his corrupt Itsekiri kinsmen who are wicked & corrupt!

Just Imagine

Its a common practice in all government owned hospitals acrosss the state especially in ughelli where i was once directed to "Pharmworld" a pharmacitical store along oduaran road to get a particular post-natal drug that ordinarilly should be in the hospital. Well, Eguriase is now the scapegoat and there is noway he could defend his involvement in the act. I hope his case serve as a deterrent to all hospital staffs including doctors who directs patients to their parsonal and private clinics for treatment. May God help us all.

A failed attempt to discredit Uduaghan free health care

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=132671253561996&set=o.14923201522...
Is this paracetamol?
This is a failed attempt to discredit the free Heath care programme of the Uduaghan led administration

80% of this report is false. Now I know SR trives on falsehood

Hon. Eyereokpesan Godspower has this to say;
Dr. Uduaghan free health care saved my two children.
I want to use this medium to express my appreciation to the governor for his people oriented programmes.
I want to also appeal to the governor for the relocation of the Okwe general hospital to it's permanent site in Asaba. The hospital is serving more of Onitcha people than Asaba because of its proximity to Onitcha. I was asked to wait for the doctors to carry out operation on a pregnant woman from Onitcha free of charge under the Delta State free health care scheme for pregnant women. An operation that should cost N120,000 in Onitcha. The doctor complained to me that most of the people they treat there are from Onitcha and IMO state.

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