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KEMSA in move to Ease Shortage of Medical Gloves

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 6- The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) has allayed fears of a possible shortage of medical examination gloves, and more so when the country is battling the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the authority said though there has been a global shortage of latex material used in the manufacture of gloves, it has put in place measures to ensure the country is not hit by a shortage of the crucial medical gloves.

As a counter measure, KEMSA has instead been acquiring powdered medical examination gloves.

“In May this year, the contracted supplier delivered 80,000 packs of 50 pairs to the KEMSA supply Chain Centre in Embakasi. In the last two months, Counties have pulled over 70,000 and we are currently holding stock of up to 10,000 packs of 50 pairs as inventory in the warehouse,” KEMSA.

To sustain the supply and alleviate the shortage, KEMSA said another consignment of 160,000 packs of 50 pairs of powdered medical examination gloves is expected in the country by July 8 and at the Supply Chain Centre by July 15, 2021.

The authority has since committed to continue replenishing its stocks of gloves and other health products and technologies on need basis.

Health workers have on several occasion downed their tools over lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

“KEMSA procures in bulk therefore enjoying economies of scale which is transferred to health facilities. Our mandate is to ensure that counties have uninterrupted supplies of HPTs,” the authority affirmed.

“On the issue of medical examination gloves, we have received the supplies and distribution is ongoing.”

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KEMSA runs a supermarket model with sufficient HPTs where counties are required to place their orders through Logistics Management Information System (LMIS).

The Authority operates a not-for-profit self-sustaining commercial business model whereby the County health facilities order and pay for their medical commodities on a demand driven supply system.

Counties follow a 45-day repayment plan after the drugs have been supplied on credit.

“KEMSA has and continues to advocate for payment plans with continuous supply of commodities. We urge National Treasury, MOH, COG, Senate, to exert pressure on counties to prioritize debt settlement to KEMSA,” the authority said.

“There is a growing demand for access of reliable, affordable and quality HPTs where KEMSA will ensure optimal stocking level and on time distribution to meet anticipated demand. KEMSA remains committed to provide reliable, affordable and quality health care to all Kenyans in an accountable and transparent manner.”

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