Kemsa gets more staff in reforms as hospitals lack key supplies

KEMSA offices in Industrial Area in Nairobi. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

At least six senior procurement officers from Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret, have been seconded to the scandal-riddled Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa).

This happened at a time patients and counties are facing acute shortage of pharmaceuticals and non-pharmaceutical supplies.

Sources at the referral facility hinted to The Standard that the six were expected to report at their new work station immediately.

“The six officers have received letters seconding them to work at Kemsa for a period of six months,” said a source.

But MTRH Chief Executive Officer Wilson Aruasa dismissed the deployment, but maintained that transfers were inevitable.

“If and when it happens, we will confirm to you. As you know, through the parent Ministry of Health, it’s normal in Public Service for deployments to happen as per need,” said Dr Aruasa through a text message yesterday.

Kemsa board chairperson Mary Mwadime neither confirmed nor dismissed the appointments, but promised to comment on the matter later.

According to sources, the six procurement officers will join a team of multi-agency ones in an ongoing induction process that commenced last week.

More employees

Also, sources at Kemsa said more employees were expected at the authority offices. “There are proposals to have more employees from the Ministry of Health and other government agencies deployed to Kemsa,” said sources.

The changes and deployment at the leading medical supplies entity are happening irrespective of a court ruling that stopped the move.

The 900 employees sent to work from home two weeks ago are locked out of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.

Mwadime has maintained that the move is aimed at implementing reforms at the entity accused of graft and under-performance.

Meanwhile, wrangles at the Authority have affected the supply of essential medicine to counties.

In Machakos, there are no basic drugs like paracetamol and Amoxil.

The county has also reported an acute shortage of gloves. “From our orders, we only received 50 per cent of what we ordered,” said the county health executive Ancent Kituki.

Kakamega is also struggling to source essential drugs and gloves.