The county government of Murang’a on Monday began distributing drugs worth Sh29 million to all public health facilities within the county.
The procured drugs come as a sigh of relief for hundreds of patients who were initially directed to source prescribed medicine from private pharmacies as public health facilities lacked drugs among other key supplies.
Murang’a County also cleared a pending bill amounting to Sh31 million owed the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA).
Speaking when he flagged off the drugs distribution, Governor Dr. Irungu Kang’ata reiterated that the county government will henceforth procure drugs from KEMSA and Mission for Essential Drugs Supplies (MEDS).
He faulted the previous regime for opting to procure drugs from private entities saying those who were involved in procurement were intent on getting kickbacks.
Kang’ata said drugs from KEMSA are of better quality and reasonably priced compared to those from private companies.
“There is no need to seek kickbacks when people are suffering in hospitals. I don’t need kickbacks and will partner with KEMSA and MEDS to ensure the county gets cheap drugs,” he added.
He said the drug consignment will be distributed to all 115 public health facilities within Murang’a.
Kang’ata said his administration has also partnered with Safaricom Company to help with a platform which will help in digitizing distribution and stocking of medical supplies.
“Already, we have a platform to monitor distribution and utilization of drugs in our facilities. This is to ensure no drugs are diverted from our hospitals,” added Kang’ata.
He said digitization of services will not only be in the health sector but will extend to all other areas of the service delivery.
The governor asked the local health workers to ensure drugs are well utilized and for the benefit of the sick saying no patient should be sent to buy medicine from private pharmacies.
“KEMSA has all types of drugs and if they fail to have any type, we will source it from MEDS. Private companies will only be considered if all other options fail.
The cheap drugs will enable us to always have drugs stocked in our hospitals. Purchasing expensive drugs previously caused our hospitals to lack a stock of medicine,” Governor Kang’ata stated.
Speaking on the same occasion, KEMSA Chief Executive Officer Ms. Terry Ramadhan Kiunge lauded the Murang’a administration for clearing its pending bill.
Kiunge said KEMSA terminated its contract with Murang’a government two years ago due to the pending bill.
She noted that with the new administration in place, KEMSA will consistently supply drugs to Murang’a hospitals and at a cheap price.
“County governments owe KEMSA more than Sh2 billion and we are happy Murang’a government has cleared its bill. My prayer is that the other county administrations pay their bills and come and partner with us. Kemsa has cheap and quality drugs and with a transparent contract we can consistently supply medicine to all counties,” she added.
By Bernard Munyao and Purity Mugo