Avane clinic boss to pay Ksh.500K fine for false advert on coronavirus testing kits

Avane clinic boss to pay Ksh.500K fine for false advert on coronavirus testing kits
Pravan Mahendra Pancholi and Sylvia Ndinda Kalevi who were charged with selling fake coronavirus self test kits. PHOTO | DZUYA WALTER | CITIZEN DIGITAL

The proprietor of Avane Cosmetic Dermatology Clinic Dr. Pranav Pancholi has been ordered to pay Ksh.500,000 for publishing a fake advertisement on coronavirus testing kits.

Also Read: Two charged with selling fake coronavirus self test kits

A letter from the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board said their disciplinary committee found that Dr. Pancholi committed an act of professional misconduct and at the time of inspection, his facility did not have a valid license.

“Dr. Pancholi is hereby admonished for allowing his institution to publish a deceitful, erroneous and misleading advertisement,” said Dr. Eva Njenga, Chairperson of the KMPDB.

Avane Clinic, based at the Yaya Centre in Nairobi, had claimed that it was selling COVID rapid test kits that could be used for self-tests and early diagnosis.

In the advertisement published on social media platforms, Avane said the kits would be sold at Ksh.3000 and further claimed that there were only 400 out of 1000 kits remaining.

The clinic even provided an MPesa till number for prospective customers.

Investigators who inspected the facility on March 16 discovered brochures with similar messages but no COVID-19 kits.

Dr. Pancholi was not found at the clinic but later presented himself to the Board on March 16.

“It was noted that Dr. Pancholi has already paid USD 3750 (Ksh. 397,575) for the importation of the said kits which were to be delivered to his facility,” the statement reads.

According to the KMPDB statement, 12 women with no medical background were found working at the facility.

In addition; the Board said one of the women, identified as Sylvia Ndinda Kalevi, was found conducting a non-invasive procedure (cool sculpting) at the premises.

KMPDB has directed that Dr. Pancholi’s medical license be revoked for six months and the clinic license be withdrawn for a similar period.

The medic and Sylvia Ndinda Kalevi have since been arraigned and charged with illegally authorising, designing and uploading a misleading advert about the availability of Covid-19 rapid test kits.

He faces a second count of operating an unregistered and unlicensed health institution while his co-accused was also charged with performing a procedure without proper training, registration and licensing.

They pleaded not guilty to all counts and were freed on a Ksh. 150,000 bail.

On March 6, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe issued a stern warning against businesspeople profiteering off the coronavirus pandemic.

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