KEMSA Announces Temporary Shutdown

Kemsa Offices
Kemsa Offices
Daily Nation

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) has announced that it will be temporarily shutting down its Nairobi Central and Regional warehouses.

In a notice dated Tuesday, June 28, the authority announced that its services would be unavailable beginning Friday, July 1 and last until Friday, July 8.

The institution explained that the closure will be effected to allow it to take account of its stock.

Services that will be suspended include the issuance of receipts as well as the dispatches of medical supplies with the exception of emergency situations.

KEMSA branded boxes.
KEMSA branded boxes.

"We wish to notify our esteemed Customers and the general public that we shall close our Nairobi Central and Region all warehouses for the annual stock-take effective Friday 1 to Friday, July 8, 2022, both days inclusive.

"During this period, all receipts and dispatches of medical supplies will be suspended. Only emergency cases shall

be attended to," read the notice in part.

The authority further indicated that normal sales and warehouse operations will resume on Monday, July 11, 2022..

KEMSA always takes an annual stock-audit break to allow the authority to take account of its inventory items.

The authority is tasked with procuring, warehousing, and distributing drugs and medical supplies for prescribed public health programs, the national strategic stock reserve, prescribed essential health packages and national referral hospitals.

Over the last two years, the company has been riddled with losses over the procurement of medical supplies related to the Covid-19 virus.

As of March 2022, the company was estimated to lose up to Ksh1.5 billion dead stock for Covid-19 treatment which was still sitting at its warehouse stores.

While appearing before the National Assembly's Health committee, its acting CEO John Kabuchi, at the time, noted that some of the items were either expired stock, not sellable, or had a short shelf life.

“We sort permission from gov’t to disposal the stock which took time, and after receiving permission, we have our sales team engaging counties because we are selling at the market price we hope it will be sold," Kibuchi told the committee.

During a Kenya Kwanza health forum in Nairobi on Monday, June 27, Deputy President William Ruto pledged to overhaul KEMSA should he win August polls.

"I do not know about the wisdom of having a monopoly called KEMSA. Some may persuade us that there is logic, there is reason why we have a facility that does not have drugs that are required at the right time but has drugs that stay in the store till  expire," Ruto explained.

A Kemsa warehouse in Nairobi.
A Kemsa warehouse in Nairobi.
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