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KEMSA owed billions by counties 

Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) has recorded a Sh 2.4 billion debt burden from a section of County governments, a move said to be hampering health service delivery and the authority’s efficiency.

KEMSA acting Chief Executive (CEO), Edward Njoroge, explained that the Authority was operating on a “not-for profit, self-sustaining commercial business” model, where funds acquired from sales are ploughed back into replenishing the stock for supply by the organization.

He regretted that the continued debts was now exposing the Authority to a possible cripple of its operation as the affected counties have not been able to procure their medical supplies as required.

“County governments should become agents of change and prioritize public health care”, Njoroge advised.

KEMSA has been in the limelight recently for the wrong reasons with allegations of fraudulent procurement and supply of health commodities dogging the authority, prompting massive reforms and overhaul of the Authority by the government.

Consequently, the acting CEO said the government procurement entity was in the process of operationalizing an action plan that will increase its Order Fill Rate (OFR) from the current 58 per cent to 90 per cent in the on-going reforms geared towards improving the Authority’s efficiency.

He was happy that the Ministry of Health in liaison with Development Partner for Health in Kenya (DPHK) has come up with an immediate action plan and set up a committee to implement the plan that will also produce both short-term and long-term solutions to challenges that have been afflicting the Authority.

The CEO voiced his support for the on-going reforms which he said will give birth to innovative services and products and restore public confidence in KEMSA as the trusted experts in supply chain management.

He identified some of the supply performance measures that KEMSA has put in place to enhance efficiency including measuring quality of goods and services, ensuring consistency in pricing, ensuring timely delivery and also delivering commodities in full.

Njoroge added that KEMSA has automated most of its services that will process medical orders from counties in real time in addition to operationalizing the Kisumu depot which is expected to serve 15 counties in the Western and North Rift regions.

The acting CEO was speaking in Naivasha during the County and National Referral Hospitals stakeholders’ forum.

By Esther Mwangi and Erastus Gichohi

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