The Sh5.9 billion Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) held at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) will from this weekend be put to use following the release of a formal communication from Afya house.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi on Wednesday told the Health Senate committee that the process of formalizing the directive by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe is underway.
The committee wanted answers on why the items are yet to be released despite a public directive by Kagwe seeking their release to counties.
The CS last month directed the authority to release all the items instead of just holding them in bulk at the warehouses.
But speaking on behalf of her boss, Mwangangi said the directive was not put to effect as verbal communication was not enough to warrant the release of the items.
“We must be aware of the correct process that must be undertaken. Things must be done procedurally,” Mwangangi told the committee.
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She however assured the committee that the formal letter authorizing the release of items from Kemsa would be complete by Friday as the process of completing the letters is already underway and it’s been fast-tracked to meet the said deadline.
“Following various consultations and meetings of different cabinets, I can confirm that the letter has already been drafted and should be handed over to Kemsa by Friday,” she said.
Mwangangi also told the committee that the letter will also authorize for the pricing of the items to be reduced to the current market price as instructed by Kagwe.
“PPEs will be released at the current local price irrespective of the losses that would be incurred,” she said.
Acting Kemsa CEO Edward Njuguna early this week told the Senate Committee on Health that the coronavirus protective gears were available for sale, but at their original Sh9,000 price per unit.
A kit contains N95 masks, bodysuits, goggles, waterproof shoe covers, and gloves.
The authority purchased a full set of PPEs at the said price hoping to sell at a markup of 5 per cent translating to sh9,450. However, a similar PPE in the market is currently retailing at Sh3,000.
This, therefore, means that the items would be sold at a throw-away price just to have them cleared from the Embakasi warehouses.