OVERWHELMED

Nandi hospitals out of drugs, blame Kemsa

Governors want percentage sourced from private organisations for those not stocked by Kemsa

In Summary

• Governor Sang says Kemsa has been overwhelmed by orders after Parliament said counties must use Kemsa.

• Nandi says it ordered and paid long ago, but still no deliveries.

Refurbished Kapsabet County Referral Hospital in Nandi.
DRUGS NEEDED: Refurbished Kapsabet County Referral Hospital in Nandi.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

An acute shortage of drugs has hit Nandi county health facilities after the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority failed to deliver on time - for a long time.

More than 140 health facilities have been without many drugs but the county government cannot procure them elsewhere due to a national government directive to source them only from Kemsa.

Health CEC Ruth Koech said they have no option but to wait for the state medical supplies agency.

 
 

“Kemsa received our orders and payments months back but they are yet to deliver because of huge pressure due to Covid-19 as the nation depends on them for supplies," she said.

Koech said Nandi county has no outstanding debt with Kemsa after making a down payment of Sh8 million in April for drugs and supplies to the end of the 2019-20 financial year, which ended on June 30.

“What we have are only extremely essential drugs for emergencies. For now,  we have to accept the situation and buy them elsewhere until we are supplied by Kemsa," she said.

“The agency has been carrying out stock taking of whatever they had and now they have pushed our supplies to the middle of August," Koech said.

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang said the agency was  overwhelmed by the demands from counties and the national government.

Sang claimed Kemsa did not stock all the necessary supplies that are being stocked by private organisations like MEDs for vaccines and rabies treatment.

“Counties should be allowed to procure a certain percentage of the drugs from other suppliers to save the poor and the disabled. Imagine - now we are unable to explain to our people why [hospital] pharmacy shelves are empty," Sang said.

 
 

He blamed Parliament for having ulterior motives in forcing counties to only procure their supplies from Kemsa, saying the agency was unable to fill the orders and deliver on time.

“Now they are split on which orders for drugs and supplies are the most urgent — those for the national government or counties," Sang said.

(Edited by V. Graham)