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Coronavirus: Kenya has Received an Additional 410,000 Doses of AstraZeneca

The Covax facility has also allocated Kenya 407,040 doses of AstraZeneca and 271,440 doses of Pfizer

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Kenya has received an additional 410,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine in yet another boost to ongoing efforts to vaccinate its adult population.

Speaking at JKIA after receiving the consignment, on behalf of Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said the donation will go a long way towards bolstering Kenya’s journey towards realising herd immunity.“Our capacity for vaccine deployment remains very robust, but as is now common knowledge, our efforts have been greatly affected by supply constraints. When we receive donations such as what we have received today from friends and well-wishers, it is a deserved shot in the arm for our vaccination efforts.” Said Dr. Mwangangi.

Health Cabinet Secretary Sen. Mutahi Kagwe has appealed for calm from people who had received their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine with an assurance they will get the second dose.

Foreign affairs CAS Ababu Namwamba said global solidarity remains key in the fight against the pandemic adding that it will ensure equitable access to the lifesaving vaccines.

“Our capacity for vaccine deployment remains very robust”

British Deputy High Commissioner to Kenya Josephine Gauld said the consignment is the first batch of the 817,000 doses for Kenya with a further donation of 407,000 doses from the UK expected in the country via the COVAX facility.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had yesterday announced that more vaccine doses will be arriving in the country beginning next week in a boost to the ongoing vaccination campaign. Kenya is also expecting to receive 1,760,000 doses of Pfizer from the US government.

A further 235,000 doses of Astrazeneca are expected in the country from Greece with an extra 55,000 doses of AstraZeneca set to arrive in the country from Lativia as part of bilateral donations.

The Covax facility has also allocated Kenya 407,040 doses of AstraZeneca and 271,440 doses of Pfizer. This besides the 13 million doses of Johnson and Johnson, procured by the government through the AVAT-AU mechanism, whose delivery will start next month.

The roll out of the national vaccination campaign is being led by the Ministry of Health, with support from WHO, UNICEF, Gavi and other partners. The Government of Kenya is currently prioritising second doses for health workers, teachers, other essential workers and people aged over 58.

United Kingdom  generous donation

The 410,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine arrived on Sunday at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, in Nairobi. The vaccines were donated by the United Kingdom Government and transported by UNICEF.  WHO Representative to Kenya Dr Rudi Eggers accompanied the government officials in receiving the vaccine.

“The Government of Kenya is very grateful to the United Kingdom for this generous donation, which will support the further roll out of our national COVID-19 vaccination programme,” CAS Mercy Mwangangi said.

She noted, “This comes at a critical time as we are rolling out the second dose of vaccination. It will ensure our health workers, teachers and other essential workers are protected, and that hospitals and health centres across Kenya will be able to continue providing essential care to people affected by COVID-19.”

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Business

Please pay your pending bills, KEMSA Board appeals to County Governments

The KEMSA Board also held a roundtable meeting with officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya, Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI) Kenya Dental Association and the Kenya Health Care Federation (KHF).

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Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) board has issued a passionate appeal asking several county governments to prioritise settlement of more than Kshs 3.9 Billion pending bills to the Authority.

Speaking when she addressed stakeholders in the Pharmaceutical sector and Medical Associations, KEMSA Chairperson Mary Mwadime said the settlement of the bills would help accelerate reforms at the Authority.

She said some county governments had extended much-needed support to KEMSA by prioritising the settlement of bills to keep the Authority’s cogwheels running as the organisational reforms to address systemic challenges progress.

She said the Board would undertake the reforms in strict compliance to due process and labour laws as the Board is committed to remedying challenges’ currently bedevilling the Authority.

During the latest round of engagements on Monday, the KEMSA Board and the Authority’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Edward Njoroge updated the Senate Committee on Health members led by Senator Michael Mbito. The KEMSA Board also held a roundtable meeting with officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya, Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI) Kenya Dental Association and the Kenya Health Care Federation (KHF).

Last week, the KEMSA Board paid courtesy calls to the Kisumu, Kisii, Nyamira and Uasin Gishu County Governments. The Board also engaged the National Assembly Committee on Health and the Development Partners for Health in Kenya (DPH-K). The DPH-K comprises stakeholders and representatives from the World Health Organisation, Global Fund, USAID, CDC, UNAIDS, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and World Bank.

At the meetings, Ms Mwadime reiterated that the Authority was complying with a court order and had not declared any roles redundant nor handed over KEMSA’s leadership to external agencies. She added that operations at the Authority are proceeding under a business-as-usual model with a business continuity plan to avoid any disruptions.

“We have assured our stakeholders that our operations are proceeding on as usual and the Board and Core Management remain firmly in place,” She said, adding that, “A dysfunctional KEMSA slows down healthcare delivery goals and is a liability to the envisaged positive national healthcare outcomes and the Board is committed to facilitating reforms to set the Authority on a recovery path. This will include structured engagements with several county governments to settle their outstanding bills amounting to more than Kshs 6 Billion,” she said.

KMPDU Secretary-General Dr Davji Bhimji speaking after the KEMSA engagement, expressed optimism that the Authority will undertake the envisaged reforms lawfully.

He said the Board had assured stakeholders and KPMDU members that due process would be followed and staff members will not be victimised.

“We have been given detailed information on the reforms and have been assured that the role of professional stakeholders in the healthcare value chain will be mainstreamed in the reform agenda. We are ready to engage with KEMSA to ensure efficient supply of drugs and other items from KEMSA stores to health facilities,” Dr Bhimji said.

Last week, KEMSA Board confirmed that operations had been sustained through the core management and staffing team. If necessary, the core KEMSA Management Team will be assisted by a multi-agency team drawn from public sector experts.

The multi-agency officers will be drawn from the Public Service Commission, State Corporations Advisory Committee (SCAC), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Service and Gender Affairs, Ministry of Information, Communication, Technology and Youth Affairs, Ministry of Defence, The National Treasury and the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government among others.

The reforms at the Authority are part of the far-reaching recommendations outlined in several KEMSA restructuring reports, including the latest KEMSA Immediate Action Plan and Medium Term Reforms Working Committee (KIAPRWC) report. Commissioned by the Board, the KIAPRWC report revealed challenges in critical functions.

The report confirms that KEMSA is grossly underperforming and largely unable to meet clients’ urgent needs, particularly the delivery of essential Medicines and Products to the Counties, Referral Hospitals and Programs.

The Authority is suffering from below-par productivity, with the order fill rate standing at 18% against a target performance of over 90%. KEMSA’s order turn-around time is an average of 46 days.

KEMSA is also suffering from a developing debtor and creditor crisis and is currently owed Ksh. 6.4 Billion by its clients, who are primarily county governments. The Authority owes its creditors Ksh. 4.5 Billion and is operating at 170% above its approved staff establishment of three hundred and forty-one (341) with an estimated staff complement of 922. Pool

The Board, Ms Mwadime said, is committed to facilitating the necessary reforms to ensure that KEMSA challenges are sufficiently addressed. This commitment includes aligning the organisational structure to industry-accepted standards for a health commodities and technologies procurement organisation. It also calls for the introduction of global best practices, including transparent reporting relationships, an acceptable span of control, and command structures, compounding related functions for strengthened accountability and a re-determination of optimal staffing levels and norms.

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Health

KEMSA Creates Regional Medical Supply Centers To Spur Efficiency in the Counties

Through the decentralised system, KEMSA’s Kisumu distribution zone serves nineteen counties. Mombasa serves six counties, and Meru serves 11 counties in the Northern frontier, with other counties served from the Nairobi central stores.

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Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA),  a state corporation under the Ministry of Health has put up measures to expedite medical supplies to Counties across the Country.

The State Agency observed that it has undertaken extensive integrity adjustments at KEMSA.  In new move,  all prospective suppliers to the Authority, including local manufacturers and disadvantaged groups (AGPO), are required to maintain very high ethical operating standards.

Acting Chief Executive Officer Mr Edward Njoroge opined,  ” As KEMSA’s transformation strategy, the Authority has established and sufficiently resourced its four decentralised distribution centres located in Kisumu, Mombasa, Meru and Nairobi.”

Through the decentralised system, KEMSA’s Kisumu distribution zone serves nineteen counties. Mombasa serves six counties, and Meru serves 11 counties in the Northern frontier, with other counties served from the Nairobi central stores.

All orders procedurally placed with the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) will be promptly processed and dispatched to clients in less than a week, Mr Njoroge assured.

Leading the dispatch process of a Kshs 64 Million order placed last week by the Kitui County Government, Njoroge reiterated that to boost operating efficiency, the Authority is banking on its superior supply chain management experience and infrastructure including warehousing and robust information technology systems.

Kitui County  Governor Charity Ngilu described KEMSA services and solutions as cost-efficient and professional.

She lauded the state agency and appreciatesd the support extended by KEMSA in ensuring that the devolved medical facilities continue to enjoy cost-efficient and professional services to keep all our health facilities up and running.

Noteworthy, Under a dedicated operating model tuned to ensure on-time supply of crucial medical supplies, KEMSA has maintained a more than 98% service availability level to more than 8,000 public health centres in the 47 counties countrywide.

The agency boss also explained the financial controls,  supplier controls as well as ethical standards in handling public and donor funds. He assured of strict procurement processes that meet a legal and business threshold as provided by Procurement Act.

“All our stakeholders can rest assured that we have instituted various covert and overt oversight frameworks to guard against the loss of taxpayers and donor funds through procurement processes manipulation,” Njoroge said.

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Health

RFH Healthcare Boss Wins The Voice of Achievers Award

“My dream was localized to Ruai and I named it Ruai Family Medical Centre. In deed God works in mysterious ways and we never know the plans he has in store for us. My small dream outgrew me.”

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Dr Maxwel Okoth (2nd Left) opened the doors of a small clinic in a dusty town called Ruai in the outskirts of Nairobi, 10 years ago.

“I want to take this chance to thank the The Voice Achievers Award for honoring me with the award of African Motivational Award 2021, ” wrote Dr Maxwel Okoth,  Chief Executive Officer,  RFH Healthcare.

Dr Okoth opened the doors of a small clinic in a dusty town called Ruai in the outskirts of Nairobi, 10 years ago.

“My main aim at that time was to provide healthcare to a Centre that was underserved. I didn’t know what was ahead, ” he recounted.

He went ahead,  “My dream was localized to Ruai and I named it Ruai Family Medical Centre. In deed God works in mysterious ways and we never know the plans he has in store for us. My small dream outgrew me.”

Exactly 10 years down the line the small clinic known as RFH Healthcare now offers employment to over 300kenyans directly, 60visiting doctors and specialists, and over 90 suppliers not counting the numerous people who depend on the ecosystem.

Has it been easy? Hell no! Dr Okoth says it has  been a roller coaster of mixed emotions. “Numerous moments I felt like closing down and settling to clinical practice. We have been fought and applauded in equal measures, ” he opined.

The Maseno School Allumna observed that he gets motivated by the fact that  his brainchild project has impacted lives. ” We have assisted in bringing forth over 9,000 new babies into this world. That’s the RFH FAMILY, ” he said.

He dedicated the award to his late father who aided him through parental advive and support to land into the doors of medical school by influencing the decision of his career choice.

The soft spoken Dr Okoth also dedicated the award,  ‘to all the young Africans out there who have decided to make a change in the society in their own small ways running small and middle enterprises.”

“Let’s keep pushing on,” he urged the young people quoting Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, “Not all that hurts you is evil. Sometimes pain teaches us and protects.”

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