The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority yesterday dispatched a consignment of medical supplies to the four pilot counties ahead of the Universal Health Coverage launch on Thursday.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to launch the UHC in Kisumu but it will be rolled out concurrently in the other three counties on the same day.
The three are Nyeri, Isiolo and Machakos.
Speaking to the press on Saturday in Nairobi, Kemsa CEO Jonah Mwangi said the some of the orders being delivered include public health chemicals, orthopedic implants, dental consumables, lien, critical care items,basic medical equipment and point of care clinical diagnostic devices.
The authority has also been tasked with delivering dialysis and renal consumables, radiology products and digital films, non communicable disease commodities through access programmes, MRI and CT scan products and expanded oncology products.
"The orders being flagged off are 127 commodities to Nyeri, 168 to Machakos, 39 to Isiolo and 132 to Kisumu. We want them to get to the pilot counties before the due date. Back orders will also be delivered by that time," Mwangi said.
The agency in the UHC programme has been tasked with ensuring quality medical products at fair price, adequacy in stocks of essential health medicines and supplies and delivery of medicines and supplies in good time as requested by health facilities.
"We have done a market assessment and brought down the prices of essential commodities from 40 per cent to 8 per cent mark up. We have also increased the number our products from the previous 251 to 585 and are targeting to get to 7,600," he added.
He however called on counties still owing the agency huge sums of money to repay because failure to do so will affect their operations.
"As Kemsa we do our business through revolving fund. Counties including those piloting the UHC agenda owe us Sh2.6 billion. They should clear their debts in time to avoid any inconveniences," the CEO said.
As at Saturday, 219,122 Kisumu residents had been registered for the programme. This is 80 per cent of the target and NHIF still targets to register 54,000 in the remaining days.
Machakos had registered 270,350 against the targeted 316,00 while Isiolo had managed to register 46,466 people into the programme.
Nyeri is the only county that had surpassed the target by 100 per cent, having registered 262,058 against the targeted 232,000 residents.
According to Health Ministry CAS Rashid Aman who was present, Kisumu was chosen to pilot the programme because it has a high prevalence of communicable disease burden. Nyeri leads in non communicable disease burden, Isiolo has a sparse population and high maternal mortality while Machakos has high incidences of road traffic accidents.
"Health is almost fully devolved hence counties have a critical role to play. The lessons learnt from phase one shall inform the roll out of UHC to the rest of the country in the next 12 months or so," Aman said.
The UHC program will focus on a primary health care approach and will include scaling up immunization services, maternal and child health services, family planning, antenatal and postnatal care services, prevention of water borne, vector borne, TB and HIV and sexually transmitted diseases and improving nutrition of women who conceive and follow this through to the first five years of a child’s life.