Kemsa lost drugs worth Sh300m, reveals Ouko

The state agency tasked with the supply of medical drugs to counties and other government facilities lost drugs valued at Sh352 million due to expiry or damage last year alone.

Auditor General Edward Ouko says, in his 2017 report, that Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) did not give any explanation for stocking expired drugs thereby causing unnecessary loss at a time when hospitals in the country are facing a severe drugs shortage.

In the circumstances, Ouko notes, it was not possible for him to determine the propriety of the inventory balance of Sh11.7 billion included in the statement of financial position as at June 30, last year.

Ouko further says the agency could not explain why it had failed to recover outstanding debts held by counties totaling Sh2.3 billion and another Sh1.1 billion owed by the Ministry of Health.

Ouko also notes the agency has 695 employees against the approved staff establishment of 341 resulting to an unapproved over employment of 354 workers.

No explanation was provided for this anomaly. The agency, Ouko writes, does not possess ownership documents of parcels of land spread across the country valued at Sh183 million.

The land parcels include one in Eldoret valued at Sh25 million, Garissa, Sh6.5 million, two parcels in Kakamega, Sh7.5 million and Sh3 million respectively.

Others are in Kisumu whose value is Sh25 million, Mombasa Sh76 million, one in Nakuru valued at Sh25 million and one in Nyeri valued at Sh15 million. No explanation was provided for failure to obtain the title deeds for the land parcels.

The agency’s acting chief executive Fred Wanyonyi lamented last week that the agency was likely to halt business due to lack of finances.

Nairobi County which owes the agency Sh285.5 million has opted to pull out of the deal with Kemsa and instead purchase drugs from other vendors.

Wanyonyi now wants the national government to intervene and solve the crisis saying the authority is in a dilemma. “We might be unable to support counties due to the huge debts. The Senate should intervene,” he said.

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