Operations at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority – KEMSA Kisumu Depot as a Regional Distribution Centre have kicked off.
The expansion project of the depot that cost KSh. 27m is expected to serve over 20 million Kenyans in 19 counties from Nyanza, Western and North Rift regions.
KEMSA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Jonah Manjari said the move would reduce the order turnaround time by over 40 percent from the current seven to four days.
The CEO explained that the operationalization is in readiness for KEMSA to deliver HPTs under the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda.
“This expansion has been necessitated by the growing demand to decentralize our services in order to server and satisfy our customers,” stated Dr Manjari.
Following the operationalization of the plant, KEMSA is expected to roll out the pilot phase in 19 counties namely; Siaya, Vihiga, Homabay, Nyanza, Kisii, Kakamega, Bungoma, Kisumu, Baringo among others.
The pilot phase involves select health products including; ARVs, TB drugs among other Health Products and Technologies (HPTs). About 49.5 percent of all ARV and TB commodities are distributed to Nyanza and Western region.
Speaking in Kisumu during the flag off of the test run, Dr Manjari said phase one of the expansion project cost Sh27 million while phase two is expected to cost about Sh45 million.
He observed that under UHC, KEMSA is required to achieve 100 percent order fill rate, as this project is an enabler towards that goal.
“We will work closely with county governments to make their drawing rights a reality,” said Manjari.
The CEO envisions KEMSA becoming a centre of excellence that is able to serve the region and get into strategic partnerships to fulfil its mandate.
The KEMSA boss assured that the Authority would continue to collaborate with relevant agencies to avail quality HPTs.
Edward Njoroge, the Operations Director said the pilot phase would assess the systems to vet their efficiency using lessons learnt informing the roll out.
“We thrive under pressure and it is exciting to test our ability and capacity to supply efficiently,” he said.
Njoroge said the Authority had beefed up transport and increased staffing to cope with the expected pressure occasioned by operationalization of the Kisumu Depot.