Kakamega to use automated system to prevent theft of drugs

Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa flagging off drugs and non-pharms to all 12 level four Sub-counties hospitals of Kakamega at Bukhungu stadium on August 7, 2023. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The County Government of Kakamega will use an automated system to curb cases of theft of drugs in public hospitals.

Unscrupulous healthcare providers have been blamed for the disappearance of essential drugs in local health facilities.

Speaking moments after flagging off drugs and non-pharmaceutical items worth Sh240 million at Bukhungu stadium yesterday, Governor Fernandes Barasa issued a stern warning to county officers out to scuttle his plans to improve the health care system saying those found culpable will be dismissed.

"This purchase is a supplementary order we made from (KEMSA) amounting to Sh240 million and it will be safeguarded by an automated system to be installed in our facilities," said Barasa.

Governor Barasa said the issuance and receiving of drugs at the health facilities will be done through the automated system to seal any kind of leakages.

"We are using the health management system to monitor the drugs and seal all the loopholes that make it possible for individuals to smuggle out some of the drugs and take them to the private market," he added.

Supplies from KEMSA include non-pharmaceuticals, lab reagents and personal protective equipment.

Mr Barasa said healthcare workers found in possession of stolen drugs or discovered to be colluding with outsiders to steal the medicines risk arrest and losing their jobs.

"We are not going to negotiate over the health matters. I am very passionate about the health of my people and anyone found stealing drugs will not be tolerated," said the governor.

The governor urged residents to be vigilant and report any cases of referral of patients to private pharmacists, clinics and chemists due to lack of drugs and non-pharmaceuticals in public facilities.

"We do not want a scenario where patients are being told there are no drugs and in the event it happens, we shall not hesitate to take disciplinary measures against the culprits," said Barasa.

A surveillance team has been formed to deal with a cartel stealing drugs and other health items.

Barasa said Kakamega County Referral Hospital will receive drugs and other medical equipment worth Sh56 million while level Four Hospitals will receive drugs and other items worth Sh15 billion each.

He indicated that his government will plan to construct dispensaries across the county to decongest level Five hospitals.

"I have allocated money in this financial year to construct dispensaries across the 12 sub-counties in order to de-congest our referral hospital," said Barasa.

"We are currently doing recruitment of doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers an exercise that we intent to wrap up within a month," he said.


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