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The choking rot at Kemsa

By Pauline Njoroge via Facebook

A certain governor “saw with her mouth” recently…

She had been wondering why KEMSA never sends the exact number of consignments allocated to her county, as public hospitals in the area have been having a crippling shortage of drugs .

She had been made to believe that the county is supposed to receive three consignments at a time, yet even the three were always delayed or part of that not delivered at times.

So she decided to visit KEMSA as the next batches of consignments were being released, to see what goes wrong.

 She wanted to inspect the process herself.

Well, on arrival at KEMSA, she found a whole convoy waiting for her to flag off: 17 consignments on board. She asked where the other 14 were headed to and she was told that all these were set for delivery to her county.

She could not understand how.

Long story short, a consignment of 17 always leaves KEMSA to her county, but only three are delivered to public hospitals as the rest are distributed to private pharmacies.

When a patient goes to the hospital and is put on medication, s/he is given half the dose and told to come after a few days for the rest.

When the patient goes back, s/he is informed that the drugs are yet to arrive, but it’s important to finish the dose, therefore advised to visit a certain pharmacy where the drug is available so that s/he can BUY the remaining part of the dose.

This scheme has been orchestrated by KEMSA staff and county officials including medical practitioners. And this is just one example.

Never mind that the organisation has three times the number of required employees and even getting the exact number is difficult because of how irregular the recruitment process is.

The number of employees in the electronic file is different from that in the manual file.

The supply chain is also completely broken, and it is for this reason that there will be dead stock in their stores yet commodities are not getting to your village clinic.

The systemic issues at KEMSA cannot be resolved by a few redeployments here and there.

 It requires a systemic overhaul and complete restructuring.

KDF has a track record in cleaning up institutions and setting up new structures that work. If it will take up our forces to give us an institution that works for the good of the mwananchi, so be it.

KEMSA is an important, central enabler to the health of the nation through quality assurance and vigilance against fake drugs. Anything like the collapse of KEMSA is a national security threat.

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