•They said the biggest burden of the shortage is mostly felt by the vulnerable population.
• They say the poor are being forced to pay unbearable costs to stay alive.
The church has expressed concerns over the shortage of drugs and other supplies in county public hospitals.
The National Council of Churches of Kenya Nyeri county officials said on Thursday the biggest burden of the shortage is mostly felt by the vulnerable population.
In a statement to the media, they termed the vulnerable as the poor, persons with disability and the mentally ill.
The statement delivered at the Mt Kenya Guest House in Nyeri town was signed by county NCCK coordinating committee chairman Rev Simon Njoroge. It was read by Bishop Moses Maina (secretary) and vice chairman Venerable Joseph Njakai.
They said the mental health burden has been worsened by Covid-19.
"We are greatly concerned that many users of public health services, especially persons with non-communicable diseases including mental health, cancer, diabetes and hypertension, continue to face an unabated shortage of essential drugs and commodities."
This has increased the cost of accessing quality healthcare services in Nyeri county.
"In some cases, patients have been forced to buy syringes in order to get services in some health facilities," they added.
The poor are being forced to pay unbearable costs to stay alive, which they term as a drawback in the war on non-communicable diseases in the county.
Nyeri is among counties with the highest cases of the diseases.
"We ask the county government, especially the county assembly health services committee, to quickly give a status update on these essential commodities and the measures being put in place to address this shortage."
They also expressed concern over the upsurge of drug and substance use in the county, which they said is fuelling addiction, dysfunctional families, suicides, insecurity, gender based violence, further worsening the mental health situation.
They called on security agencies to enforce available laws so as to curb alcohol and drug abuse in the county.
On the high cases of Covid-19, the NCCK called on residents to observe protocols set by the Health ministry to reduce the infection rate.
They termed the treatment and management of the disease in private hospitals as exorbitant and called on the government to intervene and provide leadership in the cost of health services.
This, they said, will stop exploitation of Kenyans by the private sector.
"We continue to call on the government to fast-track acquisition of sufficient doses of the vaccine to ensure wide reach of Kenyans," they said.
The church, they added was ready to avail churches to be used as vaccination centres to ensure wide reach of Kenyans.