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Malaria programme coordinator to explain why he changed mosquito net specifications

Health & Science

The tender to supply 10.2 million long-lasting mosquito nets was to be awarded to a local manufacturer, but petty mistakes lead to its cancellation. [File, Standard] 

The Kenyan malaria programme coordinator is set to explain why he changed the specification of the long-lasting mosquito nets which led to the cancellation of the Sh3.7b tender.  

Dr Ahmeddin Omar who is set to be grilled by the senate health committee was adversely mentioned by the sacked Public Health PS Josephine Mburu and Acting Kemsa CEO Dr Andrew Mulwa who linked him to a change of specifications.

Dr Omar is expected to appear before the Jackson Mandago today and explain why he included PBO (piperonyl Butoxide) in the specifications, despite it having not been a requirement by the donor.

Appearing before the committee last week, Dr Mulwa said he was advised by Omar that PBO specifications were missing in the tender put in newspapers.

According to Mulwa, following the advice, he instructed Omar to include PBO among the specifications. 

But in the tender requirement, including letters copied to The National Treasury, Kemsa, and Ministry of Health, Global Fund was specific - it wanted pyrethroid and not PBO.

Failure to adhere to specifications was among the issues raised by the donor, which led to the cancellation of the tender in favour of Wambo.Org.

The tender to supply 10.2 million long-lasting mosquito nets was to be awarded to a local manufacturer, but petty mistakes lead to its cancellation. 

In a previous heated grilling session, the National Assembly demanded to have Omar summoned to explain where he got instructions to change the specifications.

Mulwa is also facing a probe today, to clarify the matter. 

During the tendering process last year, Dr Mulwa was the acting director of medical services at the Ministry of Health.

Health CS Susan Nakhumicha told the national assembly health committee that re-tendering would delay the supply of the nets expected in a mass campaign to commence in November.

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