International body tasks Kenya to speedily resolve KEMSA woes

Massive layoff looming at KEMSA

Kenya has been tasked to speedily resolve challenges facing the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) which include governance, transparency and accountability are resolved.

The Global Fund (GF) Grant Head, Mark Edington, said that while they are alive to the fact that KEMSA reform program is ongoing and is expected to positively transform the authority, the transformation of the body to its former glory is very critical for the Kenya Health sector.

He spoke virtually, Tuesday, during the signing of six Global Fund Ksh.48 billion grants to Kenya for a three-year period covering July 2021 to June 2024.

He Kenya to pay urgent attention to resolving the issues at KEMSA, including addressing the recent disruption in supply chain for critical drugs for HIV.

“We also request that the Government of Kenya puts in place mitigation measures to ensure timely procurements of health products, including for Covid-19, which are critical and urgent. Some of the arrangements we have seen are unacceptably long,” said Edington.

The Global Fund’s Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) audit, is also currently ongoing, and intends to reach out to discuss some aspects of the audit and obtain clarifications to support the audit process.

“We look forward to the support of the Cabinet Secretaries, board of KEMSA, to work with the OIG, to address issues that arise during the ongoing audit, as the GF’s future decisions will be heavily guided by the findings and recommendations arising from the Audit.” said the Funds Chief.

He, however, lauded Kenya for playing critical roles in several areas of the Fund, including government support, during the last Global Fund Replenishment Campaign and also represents the South and Eastern Africa Constituency on the Board of the Global Fund.

Also Read:

  1. Uhuru disbands KEMSA board, appoints new Chair and Directors
  2. Counties are yet to pay Ksh2.4 billion owed to KEMSA
  3. World Bank responds to COVID-19 with KSh.1.2 trillion support for affected countries

“At the GF we also recognize Kenya’s leading role in demonstrating that recipient countries can contribute effectively towards mobilizing domestic resources to support the health sector. We thank both Cabinet Secretaries of The National Treasury and the Ministry of Health, for the exemplary leadership in this direction,” he said.

He further applauded Kenya for its Ksh.647.7 million (US$.6 million) contribution to the Global Fund  replenishment and for the proactive counterpart funding commitment from the Government of Kenya of Ksh.16 billion (US$.147 million) for HIV, Tuberculosis & Malaria for the FYs 2020/21 to 2023/24 as part of its counterpart contribution.

The Fund gave six grants worth US$ 441 million out of which HIV kitty will be allocated Ksh.28.4 billion ($264m), tuberculosis Ksh.10.3 billion ($96m) and malaria Ksh.8.7 billion ($81m).

This funding, which represents a 16 per cent increase from the previous funding cycle (NFM2), will allow Kenya to maintain progress so far achieved, further scale-up support to the three disease programs and considerably invest in its health systems.

“I welcome the ambitious targets that include achieving the 95-95-95 UNAIDS HIV care cascade targets by 2025, increasing TB treatment coverage from 60% in 2020 to 79% in 2023 and rolling out activities for malaria elimination in four targeted counties,” Edington said.

He reiterated GF commitment to sustaining the gains, as reflected in the funding already approved and disbursed for mitigation of COVID-19 related disruptions to the health sector.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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