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Different authors have defined drug theft differently depending on the context in which they are discussing. Drug theft could be summarized as:
“The act of stealing drugs and selling them or using them for other benefits instead of the core purpose of helping the needy (poor) Malawians.”
Recently, there have been a lot of cases of drugs stolen from public hospitals in Malawi

and other neighboring countries which are either sold in Malawi or outside the country. Some of the drugs are being sold in Tanzania, Mozambique or even overseas. Of late, it has been noted that the county referral hospitals, health centers and dispensaries are the worst hit. Additionally, there are some unscrupulous medical workers in our country who are smuggling drugs from public hospitals to Tanzania through the boarders. In Summary, Once sold, the drugs are then stocked in private clinics. They are mainly sold in Tarime District of Mara Province across the border in
Tanzania. Medicines leave the stores as soon as they arrive.
Drugs stolen from public hospitals in our country are now finding their way into Tanzania.
Unscrupulous medical workers are smuggling the drugs through the border point before selling them to Tanzanian traders. Once sold, the drugs, according to Nation investigations, are then stocked in private clinics, in Tarime District of Mara Province across the border in Tanzania. The theft of drugs and mosquito nets has plunged the county health sector into a crisis due to consistent shortages. In a nut shell, Medicines leave the stores as soon as they arrive and the county referral hospital, health centers and dispensaries are the worst hit.
This chapter discusses the drug theft in the health care service and the impact it has on patients (Malawians). The chapter will highlight some of the possible effects which could result from drug theft in the healthcare service. It will also enlighten what has been happening in public hospitals briefly, give some of the interventions made and changes which have been encountered to solve the problem of drug theft. The chapter will focus on how the drug theft has impacted
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Malawian patients health and well-being and bring in the gap as to why there is need to conduct this research.
Additionally, the chapter will acknowledge notable changes which have happened in the country as it will present some of the achievements made so far in public hospitals to deal with the current problem. The problem statement and objectives will really focus on the concerned
Malawian patients who have been affected by this drug theft in the health care service (hospitals).
Furthermore, the chapter will specify the meaning of drug theft in Malawi and give a brief overview of the public hospitals.
The chapter is organized into different sections; background information, Problem statement, Purpose of the study, significant of the study, general objective as well as Specific objectives, and chapter summary. It is assumed that an understanding of these categories will enable the researcher to fully understand the gap that is there due to the drug theft in the health care service on the patients. The researcher understands that the environment and experiences can affect heath, social behavior and well-being of the patients. (Cohen &Manion, 1981)
This study aims at assessing the impacts of drug theft in the healthcare service on patient’s health and well-being. Considering the current cases of drug theft in Malawi and other countries, one may wonder how drug theft in the healthcare service affects the health and well-being of
Malawian patients. Among other things, the chapter will answer some of the following questions:
What are the patient’s views in regard to this development, and how are they coping? How do they source money to buy medicine, now that most hospitals do not have drugs due to drug theft? Does this act of drug theft affect patient’s health and well-being? Have some of the patients who were sent back or told to buy drugs in pharmacies or private hospitals died or survived? Is there drug theft in the Malawian healthcare service? Who is involved in this malpractice? How is the drug theft occurring in the healthcare service? Who are mostly affected by this malpractice? Why is this malpractice done in the healthcare service? How can the whole malpractice be stopped or reduced?
These are some of the questions which the study seeks to answer.

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In the proposed study, which will adopt a mixed method, I will assess the impact of drug theft in the healthcare service in Malawi on the patient’s health and well-being. Specifically, the study aims to:
(a) investigate the challenges that the patients are facing due to the act of stealing drugs in
Malawian public hospitals (b) Analyze if drug theft has led to poor health, well-being and class deaths of the patients; (c) This study will further relate the drug theft in public hospitals and patient’s well-being and explore how the drug theft has impacted perceptions of Malawians in public hospitals (Blantyre). Additionally, the researcher understands that the affected patient’s will have different perspectives towards this development hence another purpose will be to (d) analyze different perspectives of patients on the drug theft. Furthermore, the study will (e) identify some of the coping strategies for the patients and (f) evaluate how they source resources(money) to buy drugs in pharmacies or private hospitals for their health and well-being.
1.6.1 General objective
To assess the impacts of drug theft in the healthcare service to patient’s health and well-being in
1.6.2 Specific objectives

To analyse different perceptions of patients on the current increases in drug theft in the healthcare service.


Assess the challenges and survival strategies for the patients in both rural and urban areas.


To explore the possible ways of minimizing the negative effects of drug theft on patients in the public healthcare service

The study will deepen the understanding of the researcher on the issue of drug theft on
Malawian patients/ citizens This is because, through reading a lot of literature, the researcher will be able to understand what has been happening over the years, interventions made to solve some of the challenges faced by public hospitals in Malawi and the changes which have been made to
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solve some of the problems faced. The researcher will appreciate the role of government in helping public hospitals and will have deep understanding of how, when and why there was need to conduct this study. Additionally, since the researcher will get data from different stakeholders especially the patients, it will assist them to have a better understanding of this issue and make possible coping strategies if any. The study will bring to light the effects of government policies on the standards and quality of healthcare service delivery in Malawi and how such policies advance the achievement of the long terms goals of the public hospitals and the welfare of the patients in those hospitals.
The outcome of this study may also assist patients in monitoring the welfare of their children/relatives who are sick and will help them understand what they are going through. In addition , the study will add up new literature as different stakeholders of these public hospitals like the patients, guardians, community, and interested one’s can have new information which will not have been available if this study was not conducted. This is because since the drug theft started a very long time ago, it has also increased rapidly over the years and there have been few literature available. The study will give prospective individuals a starting point to research on as they could be able to assess impacts drug theft on patients or guardians who visit the public healthcare service, community and general public. The researcher could not tackle all the areas or concerned people and hence this study will guide prospective researchers by highlighting key research areas.
A research like any other undertaking has several limitations which makes it difficult to achieve some of the research objectives. One of the limitations of this study is Time. The time allocated to do this research is insufficient to collect all the necessary data required to make comprehensive conclusions so to solve this problem the researcher need to plan properly depending on the available time. Additionally, the researcher need to use a small sample so as to save time, hence the study will only focus at BLANTYRE. Also, since only a small sample (The
BLANTYRE) will be used, there will be varying conclusions made depending on the inadequate time to reach out to all public hospitals in Malawi. The findings from this study are limited to study sample from which data will be gathered. The results from this study will be limited to geography and will make it difficult to ascertain transferability to the larger Malawian population or to all
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public hospitals (Creswell, 2002). Another limitation to the study is that data gathered includes a limited amount of variables. However, in selecting a selected number of variables, the study aims to obtain data that is reflective of the richness and depth of Malawian public hospitals. Limitations related to time means that data collected during this study will provide a snapshot of how drug theft in public/government hospitals was examined and understood. As a survey is a self-response questionnaire the data will depend on patients’ candidness and authenticity as well as their personal views/perceptions, which may be impacted by the researcher’s presence. Lastly, researcher bias may serve as a limitation to the study. As a current university student at the participating research site, the researcher has been influenced by the values and attitudes of the research site and students/stakeholders who attend, therefore, she must monitor her personal bias and feelings towards participants in this study. To ensure for objectivity during the quantitative portion of the study, survey data gathered will be coded to identify any identifying information. To avoid bias during the qualitative portions of the study, procedures to verify trustworthiness and authenticity will be employed. More detailed explanation of how objectivity and avoiding researcher bias will be provided in the methodology section of this study. Page | 5

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