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Delay in payment for medical supplies from Counties a challenge for KEMSA

Counties owe the Kenya Medial Supplies Authority (KEMSA) over Sh.995 million for medical supplies.

The  Authority CEO, Dr. Jonah Manjari  said Nairobi and Narok are still the current top on the list of debtors who have defaulted payment and owe them over Sh.284.2million and Sh.104.6 million respectively.

Others who have also not paid their debts as at 11th April are Elgeyo Marakwet, Isiolo, Kericho, Makueni, Kilifi Kisumu , Machackos and Marsabit counties.

However, Dr. Manjari said Nyeri, Mandera, Laikipia, Kirinyaga and Busia counties were currently doing very well with payments.

The CEO, speaking on Monday during a media breakfast meeting in Nairobi said the delayed payments and erratic ordering of supplies by some counties has been a challenge for the organization, considering that issues of debt are very emotive.

“County debts are dynamic as they accrue based on demand-driven procurement but the debts by Nairobi and Narok counties are old,” he said.

Dr. Manjari however said that they are working with counties by having discussions and signing MOUs for them to be committed in payment.

“Most of them also claim that delay in disbursing funds by treasury is a major impediment for them to clear their debts,” he said.

Despite these challenges, the CEO noted that currently they are supplying over 750 products of essential medical supplies in the country but will soon increase to 2000.

“The 750 products are 80 percent of the essential products in our country. We want to increase in the non-communicable diseases list programme in areas of oncology, hypersensitive, renal services, diabetes, family planning, nutrition and HIV,” Dr. Manjari said.

Under the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programme which is under pilot in 4 counties, the CEO said there has been consistent supply of quality affordable essential medicines and medical supplies to the facilities.

KEMSA, he added, has a fully integrated supply chain system tailor- made to serve the devolved healthcare system and substantially contribute to the success of UHC.

The UHC supplies allocation to the 4 pilot UHC Counties has seen Isiolo receive Sh.440,322,896.83, Kisumu Sh.510,018,949.02, Machakos Sh.451,392,516.36 and Nyeri Sh.461,012,326.45.

The CEO called upon the County governments to also chip in the UHC programme, citing the example for Kisumu whose forecast was Sh.730 million and through UHC they only received Sh.500 million.

“Counties need to work together to source for money to compliment what the government under the UHC has given,” said Dr. Manjari noting that over 95 percent distribution has been done under the programme despite the Counties expenditure on the matter not being clear.

Under the UHC, National Government has allocated Sh.1.8 billion budget for each county. The program was launched by the President on December 1st 2018.

Meanwhile, KEMSA being a state corporation under the Ministry of Health established under the KEMSA Act 2013 whose mandate is to procure, warehouse and distribute medical commodities to public health facilities, will definitely play a key role in providing affordable health care to Kenyans, in line with the president’s big 4 agenda.

Indeed, under the UHC programme, KEMSA has been tasked with ensuring quality medical products at fair price, adequacy in stocks of essential health medicines and supplies and delivery of medicines and supplies in good time as requested by health facilities.

By  Wangari  Ndirangu

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