• Chief Health Officer says medicines, especially curative, will be prioritised.
• Top facilities will also benefit but to a much lesser degree because they have their own funds.
City Hall plans to spend Sh652 million on drugs, vaccines and laboratory supplies for 2019-20.
It seeks to ensure no health facility suffers a shortage in the course of the next financial year.
Chief Health Officer Washington Makodingo yesterday said medicines, especially curative, will be prioritised. He said they will target dispensaries and health centres, which are easily accessible in the wards.
“We don’t want a scenario where we hear that a health facility has run out of drugs. As part of the President’s Big Four Agenda, Nairobi will be in the forefront in supporting affordable healthcare,” Dr Makodingo told the Star.
He said top hospitals will also benefit but to a much lesser degree because they have their own funds.
In that financial year, the Health Department will get Sh7.4 billion, the lion’s share of the county’s Sh35 billion budget.
Last month, Governor Mike Sonko said his administration would purchase drugs from private suppliers after the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority suspended supplies because of Sh284 million debt.
“Under emergency procurement, we will look for drug suppliers and pay them every month,” the county chief said.
“We won’t politick with the lives of people but will also not kneel before Kemsa. They are not God.”
Health executive Mohammed Dagane had earlier said that since the county’s agreement with Kemsa last August, the authority had dispatched drugs only once.
“We had agreed they continue supplying drugs as we continue paying the debts, but we haven’t received any drugs since last August. In January, we made a new request but still no drugs were supplied,” he said.
Meantime, Makodingo said the Health Department will focus on preventative healthcare. They will rely on anticipatory measures that comprise primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention.
In the final submission of the 2019-20 budget estimates, the department requested for at least Sh5 million for health promotion campaigns — advertisements and awareness programmes.
“Through our community health voluntary workers, we will use all means to make sure residents are educated on health-related issues. If preventative measures are taken seriously, Nairobi can have a few outbreaks of diseases and alarming health situations,” Dr Makodingo said.
“This year, we had a small cholera outbreak, but we managed it and, luckily, it didn’t become an epidemic. Through public awareness and adverts, people were able to take caution.”
In April, 23 cases of cholera were reported in the capital city. The county government provided free chlorine tablets for water treatment to contain the situation. The patients were admitted in isolation, treated and released from hospitals.
(Edited by F'Orieny)