Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) has sent home 400 employees to reduce its bloated workforce
Acting Chief Executive Andrew Mulwa said that the new board is committed to bring change and has reduced the number of employees from 962 to 562.
Dr Mulwa told The Standard that Kemsa wants to effectively play its role in warehousing, distribution and procurement of medical products.
He said that they are working to fulfill President William Ruto’s promise to provide affordable drugs to Kenyans by discouraging importation of drugs which can be obtained locally. It takes three weeks to have local drugs in the market while imports take up to three months.
“Kenya Medical Supplies Authority is out to support the economy by ring-fencing local products where we will not import what is manufactured locally. Any pharmaceutical products with three manufacturers locally will have similar imports stopped by Kenya Revenue Authority from entering the country,” said Dr Mulwa.
The CEO noted that out of pharmaceutical products worth Sh5.4 billion about Sh3 billion will be sourced locally. And for non-pharmaceutical products worth Sh2.8 billion about Sh1.1 billion will come from local manufacturers.
Mulwa revealed that the government has allocated Kemsa Sh2 billion and they are gearing up to the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) programme which President Ruto launched during Mashuja Day celebrations in Kericho County on Friday.
The CEO said that the Social Health Insurance Act 2023, Digital Health Act 2023, the Facilities Improvement Financing Act 2023 and the Primary Health Care Act will support government efforts to make the UHC a reality.
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“Kemsa has a competitive advantage in the last mile project in the health sector serving 9,000 medical facilities across the country, we guarantee quality of all products that we will supply by ensuring all the products meet international health standards,” he said.
He admitted that Kemsa faced challenges in the last three years, including purchasing pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical products at high prices which ended up staying in stores for long period and failed to be supplied to where they were required.