KEMSA sounds alarm over debt owed by counties


KEMSA sounds alarm over debt owed by counties

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) has raised the red-flag over the large amount of debt which counties owe, a move that has adversely affected supply of medical equipment.

According to the authority, the devolved units owe over Ksh. 2.4billion which in turn has affected efforts to pay their suppliers.

Despite the debt, the authority was quick to assure health centers that they would continue receiving drugs as they engaged respective counties on how to settle the pending arrears.

This came as the medical authority announced plans to decentralise its services by opening three new depots in Mombasa, Kisumu and Meru.

According to the acting CEO Edward Njoroge, they have started the process of engaging counties on how the debts would be cleared.

Speaking during a meeting with County Pharmacists in Naivasha on Wednesday, he noted that despite the financial challenges, KEMSA had all the required medical supply for public facilities.

He added that plans were underway to open new depots in Kisumu and Mombasa before the end of the year as one way of reducing time taken to procure and transport the supplies.

Njoroge noted that under the ongoing reforms, the time taken to procure and deliver drugs to health centers in rural areas would be reduced from 21 to 14 days.

The CEO at the same time said that they were ready for the proposal by counties to directly procure necessary drugs without going through KEMSA.

On his part, the chairman of the county pharmacists’ forum Dr Claver Kimathi said that despite the recent crisis that rocked KEMSA, counties had adequate medical supplies.

He admitted that the high debts owed to the authority could affect medical supply in health centers and derail gains made in the health sector.

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