By Edward Njoroge
The past few weeks have been a pretty busy season for the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), with staff running against time to process customer orders and deliveries.
Due to the budget cycles, county governments have recently placed orders, settled outstanding debts and shared their Health Products and Technologies (HPTs) procurement needs.
At KEMSA, we haven’t been caught by surprise as we had done proper supply chain forecasting and planning to meet our clients’ needs. As the Finance bill was going through the paces in the National Assembly, we were busy facilitating procurement and warehouse stocking to enable us meet county government needs once the funds were disbursed.
Every year, we gain more experience on this front, and it’s no wonder then that this year, we have maintained a more than 99% order fulfilment rate. Our vast experience in last-mile supply solutions has also come in handy as we progressively continue to deliver consignment to the depths of this country.
At the recent Kitui County consignment flag off, I had an excellent opportunity to engage Governor Charity Ngilu on KEMSA’s operations. To great detail, my colleagues and I updated Governor Ngilu on the quality assurance reforms, information technology improvements and globally benchmarked systems that we have adopted to ensure efficient service delivery and turnaround times.
As envisaged in the Big Four Agenda, we were clear that KEMSA has to play a part in establishing and maintaining partnerships that promote better health outcomes. The Authority remains committed to achieving excellence in procurement, warehousing, and distribution of quality, affordable Health Products and Technologies (HPTs) to public health facilities. By far, KEMSA is very well-positioned to contribute to attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC) goals.
The government has invested heavily in ensuring KEMSA’s success, as evidenced by the intensive capital investments pumped into the state of the art Embakasi Supply Chain Centre.
The facility allows KEMSA to efficiently meet client needs and sustain last-mile Health Products and Technologies (HPTs) deliveries countrywide. Under a dedicated operating model fine tuned to ensure on time supply of crucial medical supplies, the Authority provides prompt deliveries to more than 8,000 public health centres in all 47 counties.
Perhaps unknown to many, KEMSA performs one of the most complex supply chain management jobs well above private sector benchmarks. Our overnight experience in delivering lifesaving drugs and medical supplies to the depths of Lamu or Turkana County and even to the depths of Kibera ranks second to none. Indeed, all county governments, from Nairobi to those in far-flung areas, can rest assured that KEMSA has the necessary capacity to service all procedurally placed orders for delivery within seven days or less.
Within our reform plan, we have activated supplier performance measurement tools to raise the quality standards to world-class benchmarks and ensure value for money to the Kenyan taxpayer. Having undertaken extensive integrity adjustments, prospective suppliers to the Authority, including local manufacturers and disadvantaged groups (AGPOs), are required to maintain very high ethical operating standards.
Indeed, we have re-engineered many of our financial management and procurement processes and adopted information technology systems. This ensures that we achieve excellence by providing critical assurance of ethical conduct to all our stakeholders. All our stakeholders can rest assured that we have instituted various covert and overt oversight frameworks to guard against the loss of taxpayers and donor funds through procurement processes manipulation.
About the Author: Mr. Njoroge is the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA)