, NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 18 – Counties’ debt to the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority now stands at about Sh2.3 billion for drugs and other medical supplies, in what is attributed to the biting shortage of the commodity in hospitals.
Statistics released on Wednesday show that Nairobi County has the highest debt at Sh235 million, followed by Narok with Sh104 million, a situation KEMSA says, has forced it to stop restocking drugs in the affected county hospitals.
Kemsa Chief Executive Officer Jonah Mwangi says if counties do not pay the accrued debts, no drugs will be released, raising more concerns of the prolonged crisis.
“Counties must pay ensure they pay us timely so that we get money to procure more drugs otherwise there will be a crisis in County for lack of drugs,” said Mwangi.
KEMSA has an agreement with Counties that requires the devolved governments to make payments within 45 days after delivery and normally suspend the accounts of those not in good books with the agency.
Kitui, Mandera, Makueni, Nyandarua, Embu and Laikipia have been listed as the best paying counties.
Nairobi County hospitals have been grappling drugs shortage since last year over a debt the County government owes the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority.
Nairobi residents seeking medication in the county hospitals are forced to purchase drugs from costly private pharmacies outside the facilities.
Mwangi however, said they have been in talks with counties that are willing to pay and has come up with an installment plan for each county. Nairobi has made a commitment to pay Sh 30 million monthly so as to offset the accrued debt.