Taita Taveta County Government has refuted claims that health facilities in the region were reeling from an acute shortage of drugs that had hampered service delivery.
County Executive Committee Member for Health Mr. John Mwakima said the county had sufficient stocks to serve the residents.
Speaking at the Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi, Mr Mwakima asserted that all public health facilities in the county had adequate drugs stating that the health department was on top of the situation to ensure that the supply of drugs to public health facilities in the county is a continuous process.
“There is no shortage of drugs. There is a dedicated team that follows up to ensure that we place orders before the previous stock is depleted,” he said.
He added that access to drugs was vital to promoting proper health care and disclosed that the county government was prioritising the population’s healthcare needs for efficient services.
“Our primary goal is to ensure that the residents receive the required services. As of today, we have enough medicine in our facilities. Health facilities in Taveta, Mwatate and Voi have been supplied with drugs and only two facilities in Wundanyi are yet to receive drugs,” he noted.
The County executive further noted that the county administration has put in place operational improvements to reduce the shortage risk.
“ We have put in place various strategies to ensure the distribution of drugs to various health facilities across the County is perfected. These include regulations that will safeguard the safety of drugs from the Central Drug Store in Wundanyi,” he added.
The county government’s response came in the wake of widespread reports of acute shortage of drugs in all public facilities. Patients with minor and chronic ailments were treated at the hospitals but were asked later to purchase drugs from private chemists in towns.
Affected amongst them were patients insured by National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) who also had to buy the needed drugs.
However, the CECM attributed the reported shortage to normal dipping in the drug-requisition cycles in government hospitals. He added that occasional delays in delivery of drugs sometimes affected the availability but added that such incidences were rare.
“These happens in the course of the cycle of dispensing and ordering drugs,” he said.
He added that the county had cordial relations with the national drug supplier Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) which was the primary partner in supplying drugs.
He also disclosed that the county still owed KEMSA about Sh 46 million for drugs supplied but stated that debt did not affect the agreement between the two entities on supplying drugs.
“We have an agreement with KEMSA and we get our drugs from them,” he said.
Moi County Referral Hospital medical superintendent Dr Felix Kimotho said that the procurement of orders on drugs is determined by the health issues of a particular area and the medication that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population as listed in the essential drugs list.
“Our stocking is focused on the essential life-saving drugs which are administered for chronic illnesses. We have challenges on the supplements but the essential drugs are well supplied,” he said.