Egypt’s administrative prosecution referred Saturday 18 officials of the health ministry to trial over negligence in 2015 that led to the spoiling of $443,000 of children's vaccines stored incorrectly.
The officials include the head of the pharmacists’ medical supply at the health ministry, 13 pharmacists employed at the vaccination centre’s storage unit, and four officials responsible for the vaccines’ storage at the health ministry.
The prosecution received a complaint from the health minister’s financial aide that over 155,000 Pentavalent vaccines, part of a grant by Saudi Arabia’s government to the Egyptian health ministry, were spoiled due to bad storage, an administrative prosecution statement said.
The complaint outlined that the vaccines, stored in Egypt’s Beheira governorate, were kept in damp cardboard boxes, which allowed black fungus to develop around the vaccine vials.
Prosecution investigations into the complaint also revealed that 83 thermometers shipped alongside the vaccines, to determine their storage temperature, were missing.
The administrative prosecution also asked the general prosecution to start prosecution procedures against the chairman of the Egyptian Company for Vaccines and Medicines for possible gross neglicence.
The chairman, according to the administrative prosecution's investigations, forged a backdated report that said the vaccines were stored at an optimum temperature.