Govt: No alarm over malaria drugs

January 6, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 6 – The government on Tuesday said there were enough antimalarial drugs to last the next six months contrary to media reports that supplies would run out by end of January.

Medical Services Permanent Secretary Professor James Ole Kiyiapi said although there was a delay in the delivery of the recommended ACT drug which is a combined therapy, they have now been delivered from India.

“We are supported by the Global Fund and there is a company that used to supply the drugs but through the procurement process another company was given the tender. So there is some rivalry between these companies which has led to misinformation,” said the PS.

He however refused to reveal the names of the two companies.
Professor Ole Kiyiapi said the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA), which is the State purchaser and distributor of medical supplies would start immediate distribution of the drugs to hospitals across the country.

“It was anticipated that the company which was given the tender would not deliver but it did and these drugs were air freighted and some are coming by ship,” he said, adding that some of the drugs were shipped in last month while others were on the way.

“It’s really just the logistical question of how quickly KEMSA can move these to the different parts of the country.”

At the same time the PS said that construction of a new district hospital in Nairobi would begin next month to ease congestion at the Kenyatta National Hospital, which is the largest referral hospital in East and Central Africa.

The PS said this was part of a government project to construct three additional district hospitals in Kayole, Dagoretti and Pumwani areas in the Capital city.

He revealed that the Chinese government had already pledged to build a 120-bed hospital in Kayole from February.

“The others are at the planning stage. The minister and I will be visiting Turkey soon because they are also willing to help us construct one of the other two hospitals,” said Prof Ole Kiyiapi.

“Because of lack of provincial and district hospitals in Nairobi, everybody goes to Kenyatta National Hospital and the only way to deal with the problem is build other facilities,” he said.

He said the government would also strengthen the existing facilities to deal with the problem.

He was addressing the press at the Mbagathi district hospital where he received a donation of medical supplies worth Sh2.5 million from the Israeli government.


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