Thieves steal ARVs and TB medication at New Brighton hospital

BY ASAVELA FEKEMA - MAY 27, 2016

A number of boxes consisting of antiretroviral (ARVs) and Tuberculosis (TB) medication were stolen at Empilweni Hospital in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, on Thursday morning and could end up as ingredients of dangerous street drugs, such as whoonga, which is also called nyaope.

The armed thieves allegedly gained access using the back window of the hospital and held security guards at gun point and after looting the storeroom of the medication also made away with the CCTV hard drive and footage to cover their tracks.

Hospital Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ruben de Vos, told the media that the circumstances around the whole incident point to a possible inside job.

“It looks like an inside job but we cannot point any fingers, because it looks like [the thieves] were very well informed.”

Patients at the hospital said that they were now worried about their security as well as their health after their medication was stolen.

One of the patients, Mongameli Lali, said security needed to be improved at the facility to prevent future incidents and to restore patients’ confidence at the hospital.

A stolen hospital vehicle was later found abandoned in New Brighton.