Covid-19 Scandal: Hospital Boss Exposes KEMSA Over Fake PPEs [VIDEO]

  • File image of Dr Rowena Njeri
    File image of Dr Rowena Njeri
  • Dr Rowena Njeri, Medical Superintendent in Kangema Sub-County, Murang'a on Tuesday, August 18 exposed the rot in public health management, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Responsible for 75 public health staff, she delved into aspects including donations from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma as well as the PPEs supplied by the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) to frontline workers.

    She further claimed that staff who took part in sensitization and awareness programs that saw them traverse the sub-county faced tough conditions and had not been paid allowances to date.

    In a video, Rowena demonstrated the surprisingly low quality of permeable dust-coats issued to front-line workers as PPEs.

    A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at the Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu

    Water was seen seeping through the dust-coats when poured. In addition, packaging for the PPEs indicated that they were meant for non-hazardous situations.

    The Ministry of Health has long maintained that one of the reasons for the high procurement cost of PPEs by KEMSA was because they were determined to ensure quality, amid increased demand at the onset of the global pandemic.

    Njeri further stated that staff who made rounds in the sub-county lacked lunch, fuel or a Public Address system to facilitate communication with the masses.

    Director General Patrick Amoth told that he was in a meeting and thus unable to respond to various queries by the time of publication.

    In addition, Njeri evidenced that in April, she raised an alarm on Jack Ma's large consignment of masks and ventilators. 

    "None of these things are getting to public hospitals. Yet they’re sold online all over. Check your systems MoH because the pilferage is ridiculous," she wrote at the time.

    She stated that she was driven to tell the story of front-line workers after watching the hard-hitting Covid-19 millionaires exposé by NTV journalist Dennis Okari.

    According to the exposé, a vast majority of the donations were shipped of to neighbouring Tanzania where they were sold. What remained, said to be a quarter, found its way into the Kenyan market and was sold to private companies among others.

    It was revealed that a paper trail showed that two companies were authorized to pick up the consignment. No records were, however, available for the distribution of the PPEs thereafter according to Okari's report. It was further claimed that Ksh43 billion from the Covid-19 funds allocated could not be accounted for.

    It sparked a furore as Kenyans demanded action be taken on officials and business-people implicated in the scandal.

    Appearing before a Parliamentary committee on Monday, August 17, however, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe described the report as 'fiction' and maintained that the Ministry did not micromanage KEMSA.

    "I don't know who is supposed to have sent instructions to KEMSA, I can assure you for a fact that it is not the person you are looking at. It would be interesting to know and these are the things I'm talking about, theories and innuendos that are just fiction," he stated.

    Watch a video shared by Rowena of the PPEs below: