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KEMSA warns medics against selling drugs to private clinics

Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) has Tuesday flagged-off 19 lorries with 244 million health commodities for distribution to public hospitals within Nairobi County to enable the facilities provide quality services to all patients.

Flagging-off the lorries at Nairobi City County, Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja noted that for the past three years, no medication has been provided at the county public hospitals an issue that made patients be sent to purchase prescribed drugs from chemists which are costly for the needy families.

He said among the 22 health care facilities that will receive the commodities include Pumwani, Mama Lucy and Mbagathi hospitals.

Sakaja said he will ensure that all the public health care facilities in the county are well facilitated, regardless of the hospital’s level, a move he said will make private clinics envious of the services being offered by public hospitals.

He disclosed that a total of 70 percent of the commodities released by KEMSA are the essential facilities, noting that in the previous years the non-essentials were found in large quantities in the hospitals but were not frequently used.

“On the 20th day after being sworn in as the County Governor, a health reform taskforce led by Dr. Githinji Gitahi was formed. The team has set up 233 computers and have distributed to medical facilities,” said Sakaja.

He said the computers will enable the medics claim for the Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).

The Governor stated he will request the Assembly to assist him with the Facilities Improvement Fund to enable the hospitals use the money they earn to restock the commodities they require to provide quality services.

“Every month l ensure that the 7,460 Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) receive their salaries. We are planning with the National government for the increment of their salaries from Sh. 3,500 to Sh. 5,500,” he said.

Sakaja at the same time noted that the hospital which had been built in Korogocho area will be well facilitated and advanced to Level 5 and will be managed by the Nairobi County Government.

“In the next financial year, one person per family will be chosen from 232,000 needy families in every polling station to be funded by the Nairobi Care Endorsement whereby Sh.650 will be paid to their NHIF cards to cover for the services offered in hospitals,” said the Governor.

He announced that the first Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the County has already been set up at Mama Lucy Hospital and will be launched in March this year, adding that plans are underway to ensure that all level five hospitals have ICUs.

Commenting on the debt that the county has with KEMSA, Sakaja revealed that the County has already paid Sh.80 million and has decided on how the remaining balance will be cleared.

Speaking at the event, KEMSA Chief Executive Officer Terry Ramadhani said currently deliveries are done within a short period of time compared to the previous years, promising that KEMSA will release more commodities on Thursday this week.

“KEMSA will ensure that all health facilities receive adequate drugs to enable them provide effective services to patients,” she stated.

In his remarks, the Chairperson of the Nairobi County Health Committee Maurice Ochieng said that the committee will not allow individuals to take and sell public commodities in their private clinics.

 By Sylvia Kavisi

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