The Homa Bay government has dismissed a report that Kemsa has stopped supplying the county with drugs because of a Sh140 million debt.
Health chief officer Jenifer Ndege said the report, which was endorsed by the county assembly, is not factual. She said the figure was hiked.
Ndege said the county owes the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency only Sh80 million, adding it had not failed to pay.
“Kemsa has neither stopped supplying drugs nor the county government failed to pay its debts. It’s IFMIS which was closed before we cleared the debt,” Ndege said.
The report said health facilities have been running without sufficient essential drugs from November last year.
While tabling the report, assembly committee chairman Maurice Ogwang’ said Kemsa had declined to supply the county with drugs for fear of continuous accumulation of debts.
He told the House some health facilities are only running because of the aid they get from development partners.
“The county government, especially the Health department, has worked effectively to improve services in this sensitive sector,” Ogwang’ said.
The Health committee said the department was allocated Sh1.435 billion in the previous financial year for management and operations.
“Residents would want to know what’s ailing this health department because it’s also the sector with a huge wage bill,” Ogwang said.
The report indicted the department of financial misappropriation.
But speaking to the Star on Friday, Ndege said the report was misleading.
“The committee didn’t come to the department for clarification but rushed and tabled to the assembly the report with loopholes,” she said.
During debate MCAs Eliphalet Osuri (Ruma Kaksingri), Joan Ogada (Kojwach) and Peter Kaula (Wang’Chieng) called for suspension of officials to allow for investigations.
They said residents, including patients on ARVs, have been subjected to suffering “due to misuse of funds by a few people”.
“The people accused of these messes should be suspended to allow investigations to be carried out and those found culpable to be arrested and charged,” Osuri said.
Ogada expressed concerns over the cut off supply of ARVs and other essential drugs for residents.
“Does the department want to tell residents that even ARVs are not in health facilities for the last eight months?” she said.
Homa Bay has been leading in HIV prevalence in Kenya.