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Health executive taken to task over closure of pharmacies

The Uasin Gishu County Executive Member for Health was on Monday taken to task by the County Assembly over the controversial closure of all revolving fund pharmacies that are supported by AMPATH in the county.


The CEC Evelyn Rotich was at pains to explain her actions when she appeared before the County Assembly Committee on Health Services to defend the decision made to close the pharmacies that may lead to 11,000 patients with chronic illnesses losing out on critical medication.


Hosea Some, the committee chair said the decision to close the pharmacies may force a major donor in the health sector, AMPATH to pull out from the county.


The pharmacies were started in communities and largely help in the distribution of health sustaining drugs to low income earners.


CEC Rotich however defended herself saying the decision to close the pharmacies arose from a resolution of the County Executive chaired by Governor Jackson Mandago.


She declined to give reasons for the closure neither did she give the number of pharmacies affected.


A member of the committee said public participation involving the committee on health management teams, CHMT and other stakeholders should have been conducted before such a decision whose consequences would have a serious implication to a large number of ailing residents was made.


The committee also asked the CEC to own up for her actions instead of shifting blame to the executive.


“The CEC should own up for the closures instead of blaming the Executive since the buck stops with her as far as the health docket is concerned,” said Tarakwa Member of County Assembly, Patrick Bundotich.


Members of the committee noted that a number of patients from Turbo were now seeking treatment in the neighboring county of Bungoma after the donor funded pharmacies were closed.


This is the second time the CEC is appearing before the Health Committee over health concerns in the county.

On April 29 Ms. Rotich appeared before the same committee to respond to a petition to the assembly seeking her dismissal on accusations of staff mismanagement, incompetence and arrogance in running her docket.


By Kiptanui Cherono



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