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Government unveils KEMSA-Kisumu Regional Distribution Centre

The government Wednesday launched KEMSA-Kisumu Regional Distribution Centre, a milestone marked under the KEMSA Transformation Agenda.

This decentralization initiative aims to streamline order processing at the National Supply Chain Centre and reduce the Order Turnaround Time by approximately 40 pc.

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Speaking during the launch of the facility, KEMSA Board Chairperson Irungu Nyakera noted that since its inception, the Kisumu Regional Distribution Centre has processed essential medicines orders from four counties valued at more than Kshs.120 million.

Additionally, an order of Ksh. 36M from Kisumu County has already been uploaded into the KEMSA LMIS system.

Between 15th February and 29th February 2024, program items worth over Ksh. 200M have been picked and dispatched from this Centre.“ Said Nyakera.

He said the Kisumu Regional Distribution Centre represents a promise fulfilled by the Board and management to transform KEMSA into a more effective player in the health delivery system.

The facility is spacious enough to facilitate efficient supply and cold chain solutions for regular essential medical supplies and serve as an emergency buffer stock holding and Regional Distribution Center, aligning with the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution’s decentralization efforts.

This facility will receive medical supplies, process customer orders, and distribute them to customers in the Great Lakes Region. Initially serving 10 counties in Nyanza, Western, and North Rift Regions, it will gradually expand to serve 19 counties by the end of this year.“ Stressed Nyakera.

While highlighting recent strategic transformation efforts that have been undertaken to revitalize KEMSA, Nyakera said: “Since the Board of Management was appointed in May last year, we have worked cohesively to address major shortcomings that were hindering the seamless distribution of medical supplies.

He said that in the last ten months KEMSA dispatched more than Kshs. 22,523,862,340 worth of Essential Medicines, and Medical Supplies (EMMS) and National Health Strategic Programs (NHSP) supplies countrywide, in the last ten months.

Consequently, Nyakera noted that KEMSA has registered significant improvement in organisational efficiency underscored by the reduced Order Turn Around Time (OTAT) for hospitals.

“Order Turn Around Time (OTAT) currently stands at 15.8 days in Feb 2024 down from 16.6 days April 2023, while the Primary Health Facilities’ OTAT currently stands at 16.4days down from 19.9 days in April 2023.“ Said Nyakera.

Adding that:“The Order fulfilment rate has gone up to 62pc from an average of 49pc last year march.“

The Chairperson noted that the establishment of the KEMSA – Kisumu Regional Distribution Centre (RDC) marks a significant achievement in KEMSA’s ongoing transformation agenda.

He said the idea of establishing a fully operational Regional Distribution Center in Kisumu was first conceived in 2016 as part of KEMSA’s efforts to decentralize the distribution network in order to improve access to healthcare products in the region.

However, despite the initial plans, the project faced several challenges that included; logistical issues, funding constraints, and the need for extensive planning and coordination with various stakeholders, delayed its implementation.

Nyakera says by identifying and eliminating inefficiencies, the board seeks to instill a culture of operational agility at every level of the organization.

Noting that these strategic initiatives are essential for ensuring that KEMSA can fulfill its mandate effectively and continue to serve the healthcare needs of the nation.



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