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Pakistan

Indus hospital committed $4.2mn fraud in TB grant, alleges Global Fund

  • The procurement fraud activities committed by The Indus Hospital TB Program in Pakistan between January 2016 and December 2018, revealed in report.
  • The CEO of Indus Hospital, however, rejected any possibility of fraud, saying the hospital had a “strict mechanism” to utilise funds.
Updated 15 Jan 2021

An international financing and partnership organisation, The Global Fund, has claimed that Indus hospital had committed a $4.2 million procurement fraud in a grant to eradicate tuberculosis (TB).

The development raised a serious question about Pakistan’s ability to combat TB, especially as it battles a deadly second wave of the coronavirus.

Pakistan records an estimated 510,000 new TB cases each year, with approximately 15,000 people developing drug resistant TB strains annually. The country is ranked fifth among high-burden countries would wide and it also accounts for 61 percent of the TB burden in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region.

As per the Global Fund’s Office investigation report, obtained by Arab News, the procurement fraud activities committed by The Indus Hospital TB Program in Pakistan between January 2016 and December 2018.

It uncovered $4.2 million in non-compliant expense, the Fund said in an email response to questions from the publication.

The organistaion mobilises and invests more than $4 billion a year to support programs run by local experts in more than 100 countries, including Pakistan, to fight tuberculosis, AIDS and malaria.

As per the report, it has disbursed over $697 million to Pakistan since 2003, and is the country’s biggest donor for HIV/AIDS and TB.

“The Global Fund strongly condemns the acts of fraud committed by The Indus Hospital TB Program,” the organisation said, saying it had cut off the Indus Hospital as of December 31, 2020, and was transferring activities to Mercy Corps and the National TB Program, both of whom were existing grant recipients, to ensure lifesaving TB programs continued uninterrupted.

The CEO of Indus Hospital, however, rejected any possibility of fraud, saying the hospital had a “strict mechanism” to utilise funds.

“We have responded to the investigation report and let’s see how they [The Global Fund] take it,” Dr. Abdul Bari Khan at The Indus Hospital, told Arab News.