RECENTLY COMMISSIONED

Certain drugs may not be found in NMS hospitals — Badi

Early this year, the entity admitted the hospitals lacked some medicines since they had been relying on donations.

In Summary

•Badi said the availability of drugs in the health facilities depended on several factors including budget access.

•To end a four-year debt row between the Nairobi county government and Kemsa, which resulted in the shortage of drugs at some health facilities within Nairobi, NMS cleared a Sh195 million debt.

Zimmerman Pickens level two hospital on January 24, 2022
Zimmerman Pickens level two hospital on January 24, 2022
Image: MAUREEN KINYANJUI

Nairobi Metropolitan Services has defended its hospitals amid claims they lack basic facilities.

There have been claims that the 15 newly built and commissioned hospitals lack drugs and personnel and patients have to queue for long to get services.

However, NMS director general Mohammed Badi has said most of the facilities are Level 2 and 3 and specific prescriptions as contained in the Kenya Essential Medicines List may not be available at these lower levels of care.

KEML was established in 1981, which has undergone periodic reviews and finally became a Ministry of Health policy in 2019.

The biggest challenge the facilities faced is said to be the lack of basic drugs.

Early this year, NMS admitted the hospitals lacked some medicines since they had been relying on donations.

Badi said the availability of drugs in the health facilities depended on several factors including budget access.

“Availability and adequacy of medicines are a daily occurrence that is dictated by the number of patients served, healthcare finance and budget access, availability of physical infrastructure and workforce,” he said.

To end a four-year debt row between the Nairobi county government and Kemsa, which resulted in the shortage of drugs at some health facilities within Nairobi, NMS cleared a Sh195 million debt.

However, Nairobi still owes Kenya Medical Supplies Authority Sh187 million in pending bills.

Badi said the hospitals only operate between 8 am and 5 pm despite the President’s directive to have them function for 24 hours.

This, Badi said will be implemented in the next few months.

“NMS will continue to ensure the efficiency of this initiative and accessibility irrespective of the time of day and night,” he said.

“The President's directive has called for enhanced commodities requirements, more health workers and enhanced security for staff and equipment within informal settlements.”

Badi said NMS will continue to ensure the efficiency of this initiative and accessibility irrespective of the time.

Last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned 14 Level 2 and 3 hospitals to cater for the needs of residents in the informal sector.

These hospitals include Gichagi in Kangemi, Mukuru Kwa Rueben, Tassia Kwa Ndege and Our Lady of Nazareth in Mukuru Kwa Njenga, which were opened in July.

The Uthiru, Kiamaiko, Soweto-Kayole, Ushirika and Green Park hospitals were opened in February.

The 15th hospital that was commissioned this year was the Mathare-Korogocho Level 5 Hospital which was renamed Mama Margaret Kenyatta Hospital.

The Sh400 million five-storey hospital will reduce the patient load at Mama Lucy Hospital, which serves more than 2.1 million people in the Eastlands area.

NMS reiterated its commitment to ensuring access to essential medical services across all facilities it manages.

Badi said since NMS was formed, it had been working on reducing the overreliance on the Kenyatta National Hospital.

At the time of the establishment of NMS, 3.1 million Nairobi residents living within the Informal settlements had minimal access to health provisions.

They depended on Kenyatta National Hospital as walk-in patients causing congestion and depriving Kenyans of far-flung areas of receiving specialised services at the referral hospital.

“We are working on solving this problem by constructing, equipping and staffing the facilities upon which planning for the availability of essential commodities can now be premised on taking into account the health needs, patient volumes and prevailing technologies,” Badi said.

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris

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