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July 24, 2019

KP health officials facing NAB cases


July 24, 2019

PESHAWAR: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) KP has made a case of criminal negligence and embezzlement against those government officers and supplier of insecticides, who saved precious lives from dengue virus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The KP Health Department purchased insecticides of Rs 69.74 million during an emergency declared by the government to save the lives of common citizens after 69 people lost their lives in the province.

The NAB has approved a reference against health officers and declared the supplier responsible for death of citizens due to dengue outbreak (a copy of NAB reply in PHC is available with this scribe) despite the fact that insecticides were supplied after deaths occurred and thousands of people were infected from virus in the province. The NAB spokesman has confirmed that NAB Executive Board has approved to file a reference against the officials of Health Department because import documents provided were fake and contract was awarded to the 2nd lowest bidder.

Due to the government delay in payments for supply of medicines in emergency and NAB reference, the supplier has become a psychological patient and is ready to commit suicide as not a single penny was paid to him after the passage of two years. According to the WHO annual report, 120,272 suspected dengue patients were screened and 25,653 tested positive for dengue fever through NSI from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in July, 2017. It said 69 deaths have been reported from the province. In district Peshawar, 111,648 patients have been screened and 23,592 are confirmed cases by NSI. Out of 69 from the province of KP 64 are from Peshawar. WHO also mentioned in its report that insecticides were sprayed in KP was qualified product of WHOPES (World Health Organization Pesticide Evaluation Scheme). The report further said a significant decrease was witnessed in dengue cases in October and November 2017, due to successful campaign of government started on October 18 and continued till October 29, 2017. Dengue campaign for larval habitat elimination started on 18th of October and continued till 29th October (both active campaign and follow up) keeping in view both the extrinsic and intrinsic incubation period of Dengue the drop of cases in highly affected union councils can be attributed to as a result of campaign. However another important factor is dropping of temperature, which can also be a major contributor for the decrease in Dengue cases.

Managing Director of Alaptageen Enterprises, Shahid Riaz, told this scribe that his business has been shut down and he becomes psychiatrist patient. The KP health department has not paid the amount or not even returns the items purchased by them. He appealed the Chairman NAB to personally intervene and investigate the case. NAB KP has put fake allegations on his company that dozens of innocent citizens lost their lives due to greed, willful negligence and incompetency of the supply.

“This is not true because we supplied the insecticides in October, while people had died in July, August and September. How could people died from our insecticides when it was not used and supplied. Not a single case was reported after our dengue spray. Instead of registering a case whose who supplied the insecticides in 2016-17, NAB has initiated a wrong inquiry against the company and KP Health Department,” the MD of the company stated. He added, we purchased the insecticides from H&H enterprises Karachi and all documents and invoices are available with us. All items provided by H&H are genuine products of international companies i.e. Argos South Africa and BASF both companies insecticides are approved by WHO.

According to documents available with The News, Dengue outbreak in district Peshawar and sporadic areas has resulted into health emergency leading to fatal damage of human lives. In order to tackle this emergency situation Chief Minister KP declared the epidemic of Dengue as an emergency vide Chief Minister Secretariat SO11/CMS/ K.P/H.D/2016 on dated 31st August, 2017. In pursuance of the CM directives Health department declared emergency in Peshawar and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A procurement committee headed by Dr Ayub Rose Additional Director General Health Services KP was constituted for procurement of various items to control the Dengue outbreak. Dr Jamal Abdul Nasir Dircetor administration, Dr Muhammad Afsar Anwar program manager IVC/MCP KP, Dr Adil Shah representative procurement cell and Mr Salahuddin Entomonist IVC/MCP also included in the committee.

In-charge Malaria Program has informed suppliers to attend a meeting of emergency purchase on 14th September and 17 firms submitted their quotations for the supply of Dengue items including insecticides, larvicides and Rapid Diagnostic test kid’s personal protection equipment’s. It was decided unanimously by the committee members that the successful firms/bidder will fulfilled the following criteria:

1. Items must be WHO approved and if items are not approved by WHO would be dropped by the committee from the competition.

2. Technically approved items and lowest price and minimum delivery time were considered as the second criteria of the items selected.

3. The committee unanimously decided that bids will be offered to the 2nd lowest bidder if the 1st one could not provide the complete quantities within specified period.

Quotations were opened in the presence of all representatives of all firms. Lowest price firm was offered to provide the items in minimum time but they refused. Committee decided to offer the second lowest bidder M/S Alaptageen to supply the items in 7 to 10 days as quoted by them.

According to record, only M/S Alaptageen Enterprises has submitted Deltamethrine 5% in 125 grm soluble sachet while none of the company offered (125 gm soluble sachet).

Health Department issued supply order of Rs 69,740,000 to M/S Alaptageen Enterprises on 18th September to provide Deltamethrine 1.5% liquid insecticide, Deltamethrine 5% WP (125 grm soluble sachet), Temephos 500 EC(liqiuid) and Temephos 1%( Granules).

The company supplied the required items on 2nd October and Health department sent samples for laboratory analysis. Agricultural chemist (pesticides) Government analyst institute of Soil Chemistry and Environment Sciences Faisalabad has verified the quality of samples provided by the KP Health department of standard quality as specified. Health Department sent the items to 25 districts to eradicate the Dengue. M/S Alaptageen has submitted bills but not paid despite several reminders.

National Accountability Bureau KP has received an application, which is also under question, on a fake letter head of Abdul Jalil. Interestingly, the complainant denied sending any application and they also clarified that they have not participated in any Dengue emergency purchase. On the directions of NAB KP, Health department constituted an inquiry committee headed by Director Administration Ikramullah.

According to committee report the overall process is carried out in line to the provision of KPPRA act and rules for emergency medicine, however, some procedural violations have been observed due to emergency nature. In the light of section 28 of KPPRA Act an evaluation criterion was defined i.e. 1. WHOPES recommendation 2.Minimum time of delivery to tackle emergency and 3. The lowest quoted bid but if lowest bid could not provide in the specified time then the second lowest with minimum time shall be considered. Quality was also ensured and analysis report was also received from laboratory. Emergency procurement was made in the light of provision of KPPRA Act and rules 2-C and section 28.

The Peshawar High Court on April 12, 2018 ordered Health Department KP for early payment to M/S Alaptageen but department has not paid any single penny. Once again company contacted PHC on 25th October, 2018 and another COC was filed on 13 November, 2018 against department. Health Department replied in the PHC that matter has already under investigation in NAB, so department would not be able to pay the amount till decision in the NAB case.

However, NAB KP has submitted an interesting reply in PHC that the petitioner in connivance with other accused persons have supplied substandard drops and caused of Rs 70 million to the public exchequer. In addition to the financial loss, dozens of innocent citizens lost their lives due greed, will full negligence and incompetency of the accused persons. The members of purchase committee illegally awarded contact to second lowest bidder by violating the terms of reference. M/S Alaptageen Enterprises provided fake and substandard insecticides and larvicides. He also prepared fake documents of import but actually not imported from abroad. NAB KP further said, firm did not possess authorized dealership of any WHO approved manufactures and M/S Alaptageen is general suppliers.