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Global Fund gets new mosquito nets supplier after Kemsa row

Health & Science

The Ministry of Health is set to conduct mass distribution of mosquito nets to approximately 23 million people in high malaria burden counties.

Global Fund awarded the tender to Wambo after cancelling supply of the nets locally.

The Sh3.7 tender to supply Long Lasting Insecticidal Treated Nets (LLITNs) was to be awarded to a local manufacturer through Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa).

However, KEMSA was accused of awarding the tender to an unqualified bidder resulting into cancellation of the supply in favour of Wambo.

“It (mosquito nets tender) was procured by Wambo,” KEMSA chairperson Irungu Nyakera confirmed to The Standard.

The graft led to the sacking of Health Principal Secretary Josephine Mburu and the suspension of Kemsa CEO Terry Ramadhani. The 15.3 million treated nets will be distributed in 22 high malaria-burden counties.

In a statement issued by Public Health PS Mary Muthoni, the nets will be distributed in counties within the lake and coastal regions. 

The counties include Kisumu, Siaya, Busia, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Lamu, Kilifi, Tana River, Kwale, Mombasa, Taita-Taveta Vihiga, Homa Bay and Bungoma.

Other counties are Kakamega, West Pokot, Turkana, Trans Nzoia, Narok, Baringo and Kirinyaga. The official launch of distribution of the nets will be held in Homa Bay County on Tuesday, November 14.

“In a decisive move to combat the enduring menace of malaria, the Ministry of Health is delighted to announce the launch of the national LLINs distribution campaign, scheduled to commence on the 15th of November, 2023,” reads the ministry’s statement in parts.

Distribution of the nets is to be launched at a time when experts anticipate a surge of malaria attributed to the ongoing rains.

Muthoni said the campaign signifies a continued commitment to combat malaria, representing a formidable step towards universal coverage with nets and a substantial impact in Kenya’s ongoing battle against malaria.

According to the Kenya Malaria Indicator Survey of 2020, Kenya’s national malaria prevalence stands at 5.8 percent. In Kenya, there are an estimated 3.5 million new clinical cases and 10,700 deaths each year.

Children under the age of five and pregnant women are the most prone to malaria cases and deaths.

“The primary goal of this campaign is to provide essential protection to vulnerable populations, ensuring that every household in high-risk malaria regions has access to LLINs,” said Muthoni.

Further, she said through active community engagement, the campaign seeks to empower individuals to take control of their health, fostering a sense of resilience and collective responsibility in the fight against malaria.

According to the PS, the distribution of LLINs to community members has demonstrated tremendous progress in the fight against malaria, marked by a significant drop in malaria prevalence from eight percent to six percent nationally, as per the Kenya Malaria Indicator Survey in 2015 and 2020, respectively.

Despite the gains, Muthoni regretted that malaria still accounts for 13 to 18 percent of all outpatient attendance in public health facilities (DHIS2, 2022).

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