KENYA — Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) has delivered a consignment of drugs and non-pharmaceuticals worth Ksh.53 million (US$0.42 million) to Trans Nzoia County.

The delivery will be distributed to all 84 public health facilities in the county. Governor George Natembeya flagged off the consignment on Monday, expressing gratitude for KEMSA’s timely delivery of the request made by his administration.

The Governor, however, appealed to KEMSA to ensure the remaining Ksh.31 million (US$0.24 million) worth of drugs and non-pharmaceuticals is delivered to meet the increasing treatment and medication demands by patients in the county.

KEMSA’s CEO, Ms. Terry K Ramadan, assured the county of the firm’s commitment to ensuring steady supply and praised Trans Nzoia for its timely payment of supplies.

During the flag-off, the Governor warned health officers against theft and misappropriation of drugs meant for public health facilities, citing cases where drugs have found their way to private hospitals and even other countries.

In a similar development, Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) last week dispatched 19 lorries containing Ksh. 244 million (US$1.9 million) health commodities to public hospitals in Nairobi County.

The move aims to provide quality healthcare services to all patients by ensuring the availability of necessary medication.

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja noted that for the past three years, no medication has been provided at county public hospitals, forcing patients to purchase prescribed drugs from chemists, which is costly for needy families.

The commodities will be distributed among 22 healthcare facilities, including Pumwani, Mama Lucy, and Mbagathi hospitals.

Sakaja also pledged to ensure that all public healthcare facilities in the county are well-facilitated, regardless of the hospital’s level, which will make private clinics envious of the services offered by public hospitals.

A total of 70% of the commodities released by KEMSA are essential facilities, according to Sakaja. He also announced the formation of a health reform task force led by Dr. Githinji Gitahi and the distribution of 233 computers to medical facilities.

The computers will enable the medics to claim for the Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF). The Governor also pledged to request the Assembly to assist him with the Facilities Improvement Fund to enable hospitals to restock the commodities required to provide quality services.

In the next financial year, the Governor plans to select one person per family from 232,000 needy families in every polling station to be funded by the Nairobi Care Endorsement whereby Ksh.650 will be paid to their NHIF cards to cover the services offered in hospitals.

The first Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the County has already been set up at Mama Lucy Hospital and will be launched in March this year. Plans are also underway to ensure that all level five hospitals have ICUs.

Regarding the county’s debt with KEMSA, Sakaja has revealed that the County has already paid Ksh.80 million (US$0.63 million) and has decided on how the remaining balance will be cleared.

The Chairperson of the Nairobi County Health Committee, Maurice Ochieng, also announced that the committee will not allow individuals to take and sell public commodities in their private clinics.

US$0.57M KEMSA cover tender nullified

Meanwhile, the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB) has overturned a decision by KEMSA to award a Ksh.72 million (US$ 0.57 million) tender for medical insurance cover provision to First Assurance Company.

KEMSA invited bids for the provision of a two-year medical insurance cover for its staff in September 2022.

According to a recent ruling, the board found that a requirement used during the preliminary examination was ambiguous and should not have been applied, directing KEMSA to admit Jubilee Health Insurance and other bidders at the technical evaluation stage for fresh bids.

The board nullified and set aside the notification of the award of the tender issued to the interested party.

The tender had attracted 10 bidders, and after technical and financial evaluations, the tender committee recommended that the contract be awarded to First Assurance Company Limited for Sh72 million (US$0.57 million) inclusive of all taxes.

However, Jubilee Health Insurance, which was not shortlisted, challenged the decision, alleging that it was knocked out unfairly during the preliminary stage.

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