CRACKING THE WHIP

You have 90 days to rid the country of quacks, CS tells agencies

'This is a conditional grant from the national government and we should tell Kenyans as much'

In Summary

• More than 20,000 Kenyans died in 2018 after taking bad prescribed drugs.

• CS tells governors to stop lying that the counties paid for managed medical equipment.

Governor Francis Kimemia watches as JM Memorial Hospital radiographer Fredrick Mwirigi shows Health CS Sicily Kariuki how the CT-Scan equipment works.
EQUIPMENT LAUNCH: Governor Francis Kimemia watches as JM Memorial Hospital radiographer Fredrick Mwirigi shows Health CS Sicily Kariuki how the CT-Scan equipment works.
Image: Ndichu Wainaina

Health CS has given the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and licensing agencies 90 days to rid the country of illegal medical outlets and quacks.

Sicily Kariuki said the health of thousands of Kenyans was at risk because they are being served by unqualified people who either prescribed wrong drugs or those of poor quality. 

“We registered more 20,000 deaths in 2018 because of the quality of care some healthcare providers give people in these facilities. Kenyans access drugs from facilities which are not licensed and some are given medicine which is not of the required quality and standards," Kariuki said.

She at the same time urged governors to tell Kenyans the truth about payment for medical equipment and CT-scans given by the national government to the counties.

She said county officials should stop misleading people that the devolved units pay for this equipment.

“This is a conditional grant from the national government and we should tell Kenyans as much. It is an emotive issue, it is not true that you are not getting drugs because your money is paying for the equipment. It is good for us to correct that."

Kariuki spoke on Friday during the launch of CT-Scan equipment centre at JM Memorial Hospital in Ol Kalou, Nyandarua county.

The CS said the licensing authorities will from today to begin the scrutiny of all the facilities including pharmacies known to be operated by quacks.

She was responding to concerns raised by Nyandarua county commissioner Boaz Cherutich that there are 517 medical outlets in Nyandarua, some ran by unqualified people.

Cherutich urged the CS to shut down the illegal facilities. "When you do that, we shall thank God," Cherutich said.

The CS said her officials will be in Nyandarua in two weeks to close down facilities that operated by unqualified people. 

She called on Governor Francis Kimemia to assist in dealing with the problem since his administration issues business permits. She said medical outlets should not be allowed near government hospitals to stem the theft of medicines.

Recently government-issue medicines were found being sold in kiosks and pharmacies near Machakos general hospital.