MPs warn of drugs crisis over port delay

MPs have raised a red flag over an imminent crisis after it emerged that containers with drugs supplies were being detained at the inland container depot (ICD) awaiting clearance by relevant authorities.

The National Assembly Health Committee sought details from the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) on the matter, saying that drugs shortage is being felt across counties.

The containers, according to Kemsa, have not been cleared, pending verification of the drugs’ efficacy following concerns that counterfeit medicine might have been released into the market.

Chair of the committee Sabina Chege asked Kemsa Chief Executive Officer Jonah Mwangi to explain how they were handling medical supplies to the counties in light of the concerns raised by committee members.

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Table list

She cast doubt on Kemsa’s capacity to meet medical supply needs in the country, directing that the agency should table a list of counties whose medical demands have been met and those that are still pending.

“There have been concerned that you don’t have the capacity to do your work,” said the Murang’a Woman Representative.

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Nairobi's Esther Passaris told the committee that drugs shortage was being experienced in several hospitals in the city.

"Kemsa should put its house in order to ensure hospitals are supplied with drugs," said Bernard Koros (Sigowet/Soin).

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The issues came up when Kemsa management appeared before the committee to respond to queries on their budget implementation.

The agenda was, however, pushed to next Thursday after MPs complained that the agency's written responses were poorly organize.

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