The controversy-riddled Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) is on the spot over an alleged disappearance of medicine and medical equipment from its warehouse worth millions of shillings.
The missing items include 1.1 million condoms, 908,000 mosquito nets and drugs for TB patients amounting to about Ksh10 million.
The institution has also been faulted over an alleged list of fake suppliers who are demanding up to Ksh1.66 billion.
This has come to the fore following an audit by the UN Global Fund which has exposed the rot in an institution that has made headlines for the wrong reasons in the recent past.
UN Global Fund believes that the missing medicine and medical equipment could have been resold to other private facilities by rogue staff at Kemsa.
Some of the drugs were bought through the support of Global Fund and had been aimed at improving local access to vital life-saving medicine in government facilities.
Among the fresh issues that now cloud the integrity of the institution includes the ballooning cost of medicine by over Ksh600 million.
A report by the UN Global Fund reveals that the prices of various medicine were increased by the institution and could have been sold to private facilities.
“We identified 165 long outstanding/undelivered local purchase orders (LPOs) valued at $14.5 million (about Ksh1.66 billion). The high number of LPOs without attached delivery notes poses the risk of fake suppliers or diverted procurements,” the report read in part.
The development, which is bound to compound further the problems that the institution has been facing amid claims of massive graft, points at weak control systems within Kemsa.
“Kemsa has poor internal controls on warehousing and inventory management, resulting in 16 per cent differences in verified batch numbers, and discrepancies of 908,000 long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) between actual and expected stock balances,” the Global Fund’s report adds.
Global Fund’s anti-graft unit, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) wants the institution to be investigated over the alleged loss.
In a visit by the investigators to the warehouses belonging to the troubled institution, the team unearthed a series of discrepancies in the monitoring and distribution of drugs.
“Kemsa’s Nairobi warehouse was overcrowded with commodities during our visit, making it difficult to trace commodities,” the report adds.
Coming at a time when Kenya has been struggling to fight various diseases and reduce prevalence rates, the revelations are bound to generate fresh debates over the commitment of the institution to help in the quest to enhance healthcare services.
Among the patients who could have been affected by the discrepancies include TB patients after it emerged that among the drugs that could not be traced include TB medicine.
According to the report by the UN Global Fund, three out of eight batches of TB medicine could not be traced. The medicine was worth $91,000.
“Kemsa could not locate three of eight batches of TB medicines,” the report says.
The report also indicates that adjustments amounting to Ksh62 million could not be explained.
All eyes are now on the government on the next steps it will take to address the fresh graft concerns that have hit Kemsa.