Govt Takes Over Kemsa Embakasi Offices to Build Ksh2.5B Factory

  • Kemsa warehouse in Embakasi, Nairobi.
    Kemsa warehouse in Embakasi, Nairobi.
    (COURTESY)
  • Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe, has revealed plans to convert the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) premises in Embakasi, Nairobi to a medical factory.

    Speaking to the media on Thursday, January 20, Kagwe stated that the government had put plans in place to install a Ksh2.5 billion vaccine manufacturing plant at the premises.

    He noted that the country has never produced vaccines adding that the Kenya Biovax will produce vaccines for several diseases such as malaria and polio.

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    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe address the press in May 2021
    File

    The CS stated that the government intends to follow the lead of countries such as India and South Africa that are experienced in vaccine production.

    “The Kenya Biovax is a government organisation that is going to be involved with the manufacturing of the vaccines. We are talking about polio vaccines, malaria vaccines, and all the vaccines you can think about.

    “It will be situated at the current KEMSA grounds in Embakasi. We have taken about three go-downs where that equipment will be put. We are in the process of renovating those go-downs, changing the place, and securing the area,” he revealed. 

    Additionally, he stated the government will maintain the infrastructure that currently exists, adding that the move will be cost-effective.

    “So, we are not going to put up new buildings for now so that the money that we have, Ksh2.5 billion, will be used for installation alone,” Kagwe insisted.

    However, he stated that the government would seek the expertise of companies with global experience in vaccine manufacturing.

    “Whoever we are going to work with must be of a global standing position. We don’t want compromises and people calling to see if some people can participate. Unless you have been in that business, do not bother. We are going to work with the best on earth. That I can guarantee Kenyans,” the CS stated.

    The announcement by Kagwe comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta, during his State of the Nation address to Parliament in 2021, revealed that his government would establish the plant before his term comes to an end.

    During the interview, Kagwe commended the steps that had been undertaken to reform the Ministry which had been famed as a den of cartels.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta Delivering end of year message at state house of Friday December 31,2021
    President Uhuru Kenyatta Delivering end of year message at the state house of Friday, December 31, 2021
    PSCU