•So far, 31 counties have received the supplies with the remaining 16 counties expected to receive their consignment by Monday next week
•However, children will continue to suffer as the shortage of Kaletra in the country remains unresolved.
Patients can breathe a sigh of relief after the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority distributed ARVs to counties.
So far, 31 counties have received the supplies with the remaining 16 counties expected to receive their consignment by Monday next week.
They include Busia, Embu, Kajiado, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Siaya, Nairobi, Nyeri, Machakos, Nakuru, Narok, Busia, Kilifi, Meru, Trans Nzoia, Mombasa and Nyandarua Wajir, Kisumu, Vihiga, Bungoma, Homa Bay, Kirinyaga, Kericho, West Pokot, Nyamira, Kisii, Kakamega, Siaya, Migori, Kwale, Marsabit, Kitui and Uasin Gishu.
The drugs valued at Sh1.2 billion packaged in 24,800 boxes were flagged off from the Nairobi Kemsa supply chain store on Thursday.
However, children will continue to suffer as the shortage of Kaletra in the country remains unresolved.
Kemsa has said the drugs have already been ordered for and might be airlifted into the country any time next week.
“We supply monthly at the facilities and we expect these facilities to have at any time two months of stocks which means that at any particular time these facilities will have a three months stock. Counties are supposed to send in their orders by 10th of every month,” KEMSA customer service manager Geoffrey Mwagwi said.
Commodities distributed include Zidovudine syrup, Nevirapine syrup, Abacavir, Ritonavir, Co-trimoxazole, Duranavir, Dolutegravir, Efavirenz, fluconazole, Lopinavir/Ritonavir, Tenofovir /Emtricitabine (Tdf/Ftc), Tenofovir /Lamivudine/Dolutegravir, Raltegravir, Zidovudine, Zidovudine/Lamivudine, Tenofovir/Lamivudine among others.
“So far we have dispatched medicines to 31 counties and we expect the remaining 16 counties in the next two or three days so probably in the next couple of days a maximum of five all the facilities in this country will have the medication they need for the 1.4 million patients,” Mwagwi said.
He added: “So we are assuring the nation that no patient is going to miss drugs, we have adequate stocks. These are supplies which have been with us, the old stock which belongs to PEPFAR and Global Fund.”
The national supplier has expressed confidence that the standoff over the consignment that had been lying at the Port of Mombasa since January had been resolved, adding that the consignment is expected to arrive at the Nairobi warehouse any time, with the distribution expected to follow the normal way.
The current shortage began in January when Pepfar-USAID delivered to Kenya ARVs and diagnostics worth Sh1.1 billion through a private US company known as Chemonics International and refused to pay a Sh90 million tax bill as required by law.
The row has since been resolved and the tax waived. However, USAID was asked to surrender the consignment to Kemsa, leading to another standoff.
“We are not authorized to speak on behalf of MoH nor USAID but what we can assure you is that the standoff as far as we are concerned and we should be receiving the commodities any time soon,” Douglas Onyancha said.
Kemsa acting CEO Edward Njoroge said the Authority has adequate stocks of HIV/AIDS related commodities and will continue to replenish and distribute to the mapped sites as need arises.
“Some Counties have already received the consignment from KEMSA and I believe this will relieve some pressure from patients,” Njoroge said.
Njoroge explained that the orders for the program commodities are received through the LMIS after which they are rationalized by order management team. The ARV’s are then distributed on monthly basis depending on needs and re-order level from each facility.