Kemsa’s “let-down”, supplies half of drugs Uasin gishu ordered.

The County Government of Uasin Gishu has received a drugs consignment worth Sh 42 million from the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority, a delivery which is tens of millions in shortfall of the initial order.

The consignment received by the County Government is about Sh 48 million short of what was ordered. This works to put flesh on why Governors are against a Bill compelling county to stick to Kemsa for drugs purchase.

This also comes even as County Governments raise sharp concerns over the capability of the state agency to facilitate supplying and stocking of drugs in health facilities across the 47 Counties.

An Act seeking to compel Counties to observe direct procurement from Kemsa only is on its final stages at the National Assembly. The legislation also criminalizes any purchases outside Kemsa.

“We’ve been procuring from Kemsa all this time but they have no capacity to supply all our orders at a go.”

“Since (Kemsa) cannot supply all of Counties simultaneously, we are forced to purchase drugs from other suppliers because services cannot wait,” Governor Jackson Mandago said at a function in Eldoret recently.

The Governor adds: “I have looked at my orders since devolution and I can confirm that Kemsa has been our number one supplier of drugs but you (addressing a Kemsa official) are lacking the capacity to supply all orders.”

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Governor Mandago says the legislation, should it pass, will jeopardize and hamper efforts of making the Universal Health Care, a success.

Speaking during an inspection exercise of the drugs delivered in Eldoret, Acting Chief Officer for Devolution and Administration, Wilson Sawe, also said Counties will be forced to source the shortfall from other suppliers as “services cannot wait”.

“We have a challenge from Kemsa that their capacity needs to be enhanced if the spirit of the Universal Health Care is to succeed,” says Sawe, a team leader for the inspection committee.

“…very soon we shall be launching the Universal Health Care program here in Uasin Gishu County, it will be a major problem when this program rolls out and we cannot get enough drugs for our facilities.”

“Our concern is, what do we do when there’s an outbreak like cholera and we have to source for emergency drugs?” Sawe queried.

County Pharmacist, Dr Gregory Ondieki, confirmed that the administration ordered drugs worth Sh 90 million but the national drugs supplier, Kemsa, has proved unable to meet and honour the orders.

“We had ordered drugs worth Sh 90 million but Kemsa gave us a proforma invoice of Sh 56 million…but currently we are receiving a delivery worth Sh 42 million.”

“For the balance of the drugs, we shall either go back to Kemsa or be compelled to source from other suppliers,” Dr Ondieki noted.

He adds: “We cannot comfortably say Kemsa can satisfy us one hundred percent, they need to build capacity especially before they pass a law compelling counties to buy only from them, as we cannot get all we need.”

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