KEMSA dispatches essential medicines to drought hit counties

The counties will receive nutritional supplements and rehydration solutions alongside essential medicines.

In Summary

• As part of the reforms, the Authority has reduced its Order Fill Rate from 46 days in February 2021 to 16 days at the end of February 2022.

• Kabuchi confirmed that drought-hit counties in Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) will be serviced on a priority basis to provide a suitable cushion for primary health management.

Kemsa depot in Nairobi's Industrial Area
Kemsa depot in Nairobi's Industrial Area
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority has confirmed that ongoing operational efficiency reforms are beginning to bear fruit.

As part of the reforms, the Authority has reduced its Order Fill Rate from 46 days in February 2021 to 16 days at the end of February 2022.

The Authority also managed to dispatch Essential Medicines and Medical Supplies (EMMS) and national strategic priority health programs supplies valued at more than Sh9.73 billion as of the end of last month to all counties.

KEMSA Acting CEO John Kabuchi said the Authority had re-engineered and automated several operating procedures leading to improved output.

Kabuchi spoke during the flagging-off ceremony for medical supplies valued at Sh380 million.

They are destined to several counties including Kilifi, Marsabit, Samburu, Baringo, Garissa and Tana River.

This week, Kabuchi confirmed that drought-hit counties in Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) will be serviced on a priority basis to provide a suitable cushion for primary health management.

He said such counties will receive nutritional supplements and rehydration solutions alongside essential medicines.

He added that the Authority has also stepped up stakeholder engagement efforts led by the KEMSA Board of Directors and Management geared at unlocking the settlement of outstanding dues from several counties valued at more than Sh2.7 billion to boost the national scale of the Universal Health Coverage agenda.

Kabuchi said increased collections from the counties will also allow KEMSA to fast track pending payments to its suppliers which include local manufacturers.

“KEMSA has registered a significant improvement in its organisational efficiency that is also highlighted by the improved Order Turn Around Time. Using Information Technology Systems to support organisational agility and simplify business processes, we have reduced the Order Turn Around Time from 46 days in February 2021 to 16 days at the end of February 2022 and automated several functions," Kabuchi said.

By the end of the first quarter, we successfully managed to record a milestone with the dispatch of Program and EMMS supplies amounting to more than Kshs.9.73 billion.

The dispatch of more than 32,000 orders was to more than 7,600 health facilities in all 47 counties."

Several counties are expected to start receiving their medical supplies following the flag off ahead of the Easter holidays.

The supplies headed to Kilifi, Baringo, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River and Garissa, among other counties, comprise essential medicines ordered by the respective counties as per the Kenya Essential Medicines list.

This list was developed by the Ministry of Health and recognised the disease burdens in each of the counties allowing for tailor-made ordering of Essential Medicines and Medical Supplies (EMMS) from KEMSA.

The counties will also receive orders catering for specific national strategic priority programs that facilitate public health initiatives, including Nutrition, Malaria, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH), HIV/AIDS, and Non-Communicable Diseases, TB and Lung Diseases and Immunisation.