County centralises management of drugs to curb theft

The purchase and supply of drugs will henceforth be centralised with the aim to reduce theft.

A store where the drugs will be supplied to the nearly 200 county health facilities on need basis has been opened in Eldoret town.

This comes barely two months after the county’s department of health shut revolving fund pharmacies operated by a Non-Governmental organisation over transparency and accountability questions.

The county also said it had procured adequate drugs for its people and did not require the pharmacies anymore.

Governor Jackson Mandago on Tuesday said the Eldoret store would receive medical consignments from Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) and other suppliers.

"When Kemsa was supplying to dispensaries and hospitals, we noticed shortages as a result of under-supply or theft right from facilities," said Mr Mandago during the official opening of Ngara Falls and Lamaiywet dispensaries in Kapseret sub-county.

The governor defended the scheme, saying it guaranteed structured supply of drugs to safeguard public funds. He said until the first quarter of this year, drugs to the county were supplied by Kemsa directly to all health facilities, haphazardly.

Evelyne Rotich, the County Executive Member in charge of Health, said the county spent Sh200 million annually to purchase and supply of drugs.

Ms Rotich said the "haphazard" supply of medicines to hospitals was to blame for shortage of drugs in some hospitals, as others had more drugs than required.

"The purchase and storage of drugs in our storage facility will ensure that we never lack drugs. We now have enough drugs in all our health facilities because of the change of management," said Rotich.

This comes after locals complained of acute shortage of drugs in April and May. The county has bought a lorry to supply the drugs.