KEMSA assures HPTs availability in the country despite covid-19 pandemic

Dr. Jonah Manjari Mwangi , the KEMSA  Chief Executive Officer has assures Kenyans that the authority is stretching its capacity to ensure that medical essential are supplied and made available across the country despite the current covid-19 challenges.

Dr. Mwangi also mentioned that they are facing some challenges just like any other companies, but that will not stop them from giving the best out of their mandate as well ensuring they win the war against Covid-19 in unison with Kenyans.

KEMSA is also responding to Covid-19 calls through procurement of Covid-19 kits to cushion the country against the pandemic.

You will appreciate the existing Global Supply Chain challenges given the fact that there are total lockdowns in many countries particularly China and India and this has impacted manufacturing of key items.

“On a positive note, we have made headways in protecting frontline health workers by giving them Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). KEMSA is working closely with MoH to ensure uninterrupted supply of HPTs.”

Dr. Manjari holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Nairobi (UoN) and a Masters in ENT Surgery from UoN and over 20 years work experience.

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), mandate is to procure, warehouse and distribute essential medicines and technologies with a view of increasing access to affordable and quality Health Products and Technologies (HPTs).

It further distributes drugs and medical supplies for prescribed public health programs, the national strategic stock reserve, and national referral hospitals.

KEMSA is working in collaboration with County Governments, MoH and other strategic partners to enhance health supply chain. It plays a vital role in tracking the journey of the pill.

They support counties in Forecasting and Quantification to appreciate the needs of the counties.

The institution’s operation has been actualized through key pillars that includes: strengthened financial, human resources and risk management, efficiently meet Customer needs for enhanced customer satisfaction, Improved efficiency, optimal stock levels and fill rate, Increased demand and market share, Dynamic, efficient and leadership, governance and management, Improved internal systems through digital solutions among others.

“KEMSA mission is to provide reliable, affordable and quality health products, technologies and supply chain solutions for improved health care and transform lives,” adds Dr. Mwangi.

Dr. Mwangi assures that the firm is highly Customer Focused “We pay attention to our customer needs. We value our customers and treat them with dignity. We are passionate about customers’ delight.

We also respect different views and cultures; treating people fairly and equally as we continuously look for and adopt creative ways of working to serve our clients and sustainably improve KEMSA’s overall performance. “

The authority also continues to maintain high ethical standards, value honesty and openness by building trust within and outside KEMSA through their staff requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes to maintain highest levels of performance.

Since its establishment, KEMSA has been on a journey of continuous improvement for the last decade with a view of making the organization more responsive to HPTs availability in the country.

KEMSA Act 2013 was enacted to give the Authority more autonomy to be able to respond to public health Supply Chain needs more expeditiously.

The enactment of the Act was timely as it made the Authority to provide demand driven services to the devolved healthcare system.

The company has restructured its internal processes, systems and procedures to ensure consistent availability of affordable and quality HPTs. These changes include, introduction of a robust ERP system, restructuring of HR and introduction of 24/7 operation centre to the last mile.

Much more, it has kicked off operationalization of Kisumu and Mombasa Depot as regional distribution centres to better serve this region.

Having all these successful growth and performance, KEMSA still faces sporadical challenges across it operations from Erratic ordering by counties: Debts repayment periodin the Counties which can take a minimum of 45-days repayment plan after the drugs have been supplied on credit which makes its operations derail over time.

“KEMSA has and continues to advocate for payment plans with continuous supply of commodities.  KEMSA management also engages with National Treasury, MOH, COG, Senate, to exert pressure on counties to prioritize debt settlement to KEMSA.”

KEMSA products and services remains relevant to socio-economic development in the country, due to its muscle of procuring medical essentials in bulk thereby enjoying economies of scale.

This advantage trickles down to the pricing of products, thus making them more affordable and accessible to the common mwananchi.

KEMSA CEO emphasize that strengthening of NHIF will improve access to health services including health products and technologies in a more sustainable way.

Local manufacturing has ripple effect both on job creation and increased access to quality health products and technologies.

KEMSA is also working closely with National Government (MoH), National Medicines Therapeutic Committee, Pharmacy and Poisons Board and County Medicines Therapeutic Committee to do selection, forecasting and quantification to standardize therapeutic protocols.

Furthermore, the Authority has put in place a contingency plan to leverage on Partnerships with the aim of ensuring availability of HPTs to all the counties. This will cushion the Organization from over relying on one supplier.

KEMSA has currently collaborated with Mission for Essential Drugs and Supplies (MEDS) in order to meet the shortfall of HPTs especially the once that the Authority does not stock.

It continues to collaborate with the Government, MOH and development partners to improve health Supply chain in Kenya.

“Your Partner in Healthcare,” KEMSA has adopted effective Health Supply Chain Management as an approach of ensuring the Quality Standards of Health products and Technologies procured, warehoused and distributed by the Authority are upheld.

The Authority is committed to ensuring that essential, safe and cost-effective drugs are made available to the entire population of Kenya at the right time and in the right quantity.

As far as Big Four Agenda is concerned, the Authority is currently procuring, warehousing and distributing HPTs to all 47 counties and National referral hospitals under UHC project after successful piloting in 2018.

This is part of the Vision 2030 roadmap where all Kenyans are expected to have access to reliable, affordable and quality healthcare.

Since the authority was not mend to make profits out of its services, its main source of funding for the Authority is the National Government, which is supplemented by donors such as USAID, Global fund, UNICEF, World Bank and others.

Both National and County government can do more in funding some of the Authority’s expansion program in response to devolved health system.

Therefore, the Authority has always pushed for one supply chain pipeline for the health sector in order to leverage on economies of scale and reduce competition amongst counties for the same HPTs from the shrinking suppliers and manufacturers thereby driving high prices.

This strategy has been achieved in HIV/AIDS, TB and Nutrition programs where it is the sole supply chain for the country with reach to all public, Faith-based, NGOs and private health facilities.

A good example is the USAID-MCP program where the Authority has been running for the last four years and has been taunted as the biggest contract that the US Government has signed with a government agency.

The program has supported more than 1.2Millions Kenyans with uninterrupted supply of ART commodities thereby enabling them to live a normal life with lee or no health complications as a result of the HIV virus.

And due to constant growth demand for access of reliable, affordable and quality HPTs, KEMSA must ensure optimal stocking level and on time distribution to meet anticipated demand for its optimum success and impact.





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