The Ministry of Health has said that The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) is expected to start releasing Personal Protective Equipment from their warehouses by Friday.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe wrote to KEMSA to allow the release of PPEs and masks which were bought at a high price when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Kenya around March this year.
“I have written to KEMSA to allow releasing masks and PPEs at the current market rate instead of holding them,” Kagwe said.
According to CAS Mercy Mwangangi, the authority will be informed of the decision to have the PPEs sold at an affordable price.
The protective equipment and gears have been lying idle in KEMSA warehouses. According to the report, Kenya purchased overpriced COVID-19 supplies and there has been lower demand, and the agency may not be able to sell the stock.
Reports indicate that KEMSA, a State Corporation that specializes in providing medical logistics for public health facilities and programs risks losing Ksh.2billion if the PPEs are sold at the proposed lower price.
CS Mutahi Kagwe justified the exorbitant cost of these materials by saying the global price of the said equipment was high when KEMSA procured them.
This followed concerns from the public as to why the Health ministry cannot return some of this equipment to the suppliers since the government has not paid for some of them.
Additionally, the public is also wondering who is set to incur the losses as a result of exorbitant acquirement which was not used on time and whose market value has continually declined.
In October, Kenya’s auditor General Nancy Gathangu said the country stands to lose $21 million in the procurement of COVID-19 medical supplies because the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency failed to follow procurement law.
Gathangu presented to the Senate a special report describing how the COVID-19 supplies were purchased between Kenya’s first confirmed coronavirus case on March 13 and July 31.
Kenya Medical Supplies Agency purchased supplies worth $77 million which money was part of that acquired from the World Bank, and according to Gathanu, the agency flouted the law while in part using the money.
The report indicates that the agency’s management bought goods without doing a needs assessment or budgetary allocation and awarded contracts to companies that were just months old, and now the country is to incur losses.