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KEMSA unveils Kisumu regional distribution center

The Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) has commissioned a Regional Distribution Center (RDC) in Kisumu to enhance access to quality health products and technologies in the lake region.

Through the initiative, KEMSA targets to reduce the turnaround time for delivery of medicines and non-pharmaceuticals for over ten counties in the area.

Speaking during the commissioning of the RDC, Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Susan Nakhumicha said the drive was in line with the Kenya Kwanza administration’s drive to avail supplies at the grassroots level as the government mover to implement Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

KEMSA, she said has undergone key reforms adding that through the regional network, the agency would be able to ensure timely distribution of health commodities in Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma, Busia, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Turkana, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Kerichoi and Bomet counties.

The launch, he added, comes with improved technology which will track the tendering and supplies processes at the agency to ensure that counties get the commodities on time.

The Kisumu RDC has so far processed Essential Medicines and Medical Supplies (EMMS) and program orders valued at Kshs. 295.4 million.

The orders are earmarked for Kisumu, Bungoma, Busia, Siaya, and Vihiga counties. Additional orders under processing valued at Kshs.152.8 million include; Kericho, Kisii, Nyamira, and Migori counties.

KEMSA Board Chairman Irungu Nyakera emphasized the transformation of the facility into a vibrant hub which is seamlessly connected with the National Supply Chain Centre in Embakasi.

“The depots which remained moribund for nearly a decade have been linked to the National Supply Chain Centre, Embakasi to mirror functionality and enable seamless operations,” Nyakera said.

He added that the RDC is designed to efficiently manage the receipt, processing, and distribution of medical supplies within the Lake Region, significantly reducing the Order Turnaround Time by about 40 percent.

“Decentralization of Kisumu and later Mombasa hubs has been triggered by the growing demand to bring services closer to mwananchi to serve and satisfy our customer’s demands. Previously Kisumu Regional Distribution Centre was only processing program orders,” he said.

KEMSA CEO, Dr. Andrew Mulwa, outlined the operational scope of the new centre, initially serving 10 counties in the Nyanza, Western, and North Rift Regions, with plans to expand to 19 counties.

“The distance from Nairobi to Kisumu is far. Therefore, any businessman who is quick thinking would want to get a route that is much shorter in terms of turnaround time,” Dr. Mulwa noted.

The Kisumu facility boasts of an advanced Warehousing Model, enabling better visibility and management of Health Products and Technologies through the Logistics Management Information System.

“Our customers in the Lake Region will now be able to enjoy same-day delivery of orders, which is a big relief to the patient. Within the KEMSA turnaround strategy, the Authority has formulated plans to enhance the customer experience standards for all counties by ensuring faster order turnaround time to the last mile,” Dr Mulwa stated.

By Rolex Omondi

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