Nairobi and Narok most notorious Kemsa defaulters

'Nyeri, Mandera, Laikipia, Kirinyaga and Busia have no debt'

In Summary

•CEO says some counties have been given 45 credit days

•Says counties cite delays by Treasury to disburse funds 

Kemsa factory in Embakasi
Kemsa factory in Embakasi
Image: FILE

Nairobi and Narok are the two most notorious counties in debts owed to the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority. 

Kemsa CEO Jonah Manjari told the press at Sarova Panafric Hotel, Nairobi, that counties owe his institution over Sh995 million for medical supplies.

Nairobi tops the list with Sh284.2 million followed closely be Narok with Sh104.6 million. 

Elgeyo Marakwet, Isiolo, Kericho, Makueni, Kilifi, Kisumu, Machakos and Marsabit have not paid within the last 90 days as at April 11.

"A good number of counties have been paying. However, we have a few that have not been paying on time," Manjari said, adding that they have been engaging the Council of Governors. 

The CEO said Nyeri, Mandera, Laikipia, Kirinyaga and Busia have no debt.

He said delayed payments and erratic ordering of supplies has been a challenge for the authority as issues of debt are emotive. 

To make counties pay, he said they are having discussions with the CoG on signing a Memorandum of Understanding on how they intend to clear the debt. 

Manjari said some counties have been given credit period of 45 days. 

“Most of them, however, claim that delay in disbursing funds by Treasury is a major impediment for them”, he said. 

The CEO said one of the things they are looking at are models that have been tested and proved to be working. 

"Through the World Bank and Danida, money is removed from the Treasury and put at special purpose account," he said.  

When asked why some health facilities within Nairobi don't have essential medical supplies, the CEO said, "It is the responsibility of county government to meet its obligations by servicing its debt before placing an order."

"As they make the order, they commit to progressively pay for that, so we have no responsibility in the low stocks," he said. 

Manjari said there is a need for the policy to be looked at with a view of ring-fencing health funds, saying it will guarantee every Kenyan access to health care.

"If money is ring-fenced, it will require a drawing right that will be easy for counties to progressively order and we supply them on time."

Manjari said they are currently supplying over 750 products of essential supplies in the country but will soon increase to 2,000. 

“The 750 products are 80 per cent of the essential products. We want to increase in the non-communicable disease list programme in the area of oncology, hypersensitive,  renal services, diabetes, family planning,  Nutrition and HIV.”

As one way of contributing to the Universal Health Coverage programme which is under pilot in four counties, Manjari said there has been a consistent supply of quality affordable essential medicines and medical supplies to the facilities. 

He said they are looking at their systems as one way of improving service delivery.

The CEO said Kemsa has a fully integrated supply chain system tailor-made to serve the devolved healthcare system and substantially contribute to the success of UHC. 

UHC supplies allocation has seen Isiolo receive Sh 440,322,896.83, Kisumu-Sh 510,018,949.02, Machakos-Sh 451,392,516.36 and Nyeri-Sh 461,012,326.45. 

Manjari appealed to counties to up their game in putting funds to the health sector in order to contribute towards UHC. 

“Counties need to work together to source for money to complement what the government under the UHC has given,” he said.

(Edited by R.Wamochie)