Governor Sakaja spells out measures to combat drug shortage in county hospitals

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja. [Samson Wire,Standard]

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja says his office is actively implementing strategies to enhance healthcare services and address the persistent issue of medical drug shortage in public hospitals.

Speaking on Radio Citizen on Wednesday, April 26, Sakaja revealed that the county has put elaborate measures in place to ensure that services in public hospitals are not disrupted and that Kenyans are receiving dignified healthcare services.

"No Kenyan seeking medical services in the county hospitals should be forced to buy drugs. We have taken measures to ensure quality of service in our hospitals," said Sakaja.

One of the measures, he said, was to procure drugs worth Sh244 million, which have since been distributed to all county hospitals to address the shortage.

Sakaja asserted that the drug shortage was a direct consequence of the substantial debt left by the previous administration to Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), amounting to Sh185 million.

"We have since cleared almost half of the debt, and now Nairobians can enjoy quality services," he said, adding, "for three years, our hospitals experienced a shortage of medicines due to an outstanding debt totaling Sh185m. We held discussions with the Kemsa management and reached an agreement to clear the debt in installments," he explained.

"As a result, our hospitals were not getting enough medicines. We have put measures in place to ensure the availability of medicines in our hospitals."

Sakaja further reiterated that the county had placed a high priority on ensuring timely payment of healthcare workers' salaries.

"After realizing that payment of salaries was an issue, today, no single welfare worker in the county will complain about delayed salaries," he added.

On drug theft, Sakaja stated, "We have implemented a robust system to combat drug theft cartels and safeguard our drugs. My team has made arrests, and we are currently in the midst of a court case. We remain optimistic about the outcome and confident in our ability to prevail."