KEMSA Revs Up Reform Agenda With A New Operating Strategy

KEMSA Chief Executive Officer Terry Ramadhani, said the new strategy had been formulated to position the Authority as the supply chain solutions provider of choice

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) has unveiled a 180-day rapid results operating strategy to guide the second phase of its organisational transformation journey.

The strategy aptly titled the KEMSA 2.0 strategy will focus on building momentum for organisational productivity; to guarantee efficient last mile delivery of health commodities countrywide.

The launch of the KEMSA 2.0 strategy comes hot on the heels of the recent adoption of a new organisational structure to ensure compliance with oversight requirements. As part of the organisational structure -with eight operating directorates and a staff establishment ceiling of 378-  adoption, KEMSA commenced a competitive recruitment process on Monday to fill leadership positions in the new structure.

Speaking at an event hosted to officially commission the KEMSA 2.0 Service Teams, KEMSA Chief Executive Officer Terry Ramadhani, said the new strategy had been formulated to position the Authority as the supply chain solutions provider of choice for the local health system.

The KEMSA 2.0 Service Teams commissioning ceremony featuring team-building activities was held at the Public Service Club with more than 150 KEMSA staff members and operating partners, including World Bank, Chartered Institute of Supplies and Procurement Kenya (CIPS), The Global Fund-Local Fund Agent and the Africa Resource Centre (ARC) officials. The KEMSA 2.0 Service Teams will provide internal advocacy support to entrench its service delivery pillars.

The KEMSA 2.0 strategy, Ramadhani explained, will be underpinned by three pillars focusing on driving operational excellence, enhancing customer experience and repositioning the organisation. She said that adopting the new organisation structure and the rollout of the performance-oriented strategy will provide the necessary impetus to guide the Authority’s transformation into an effective Health Products and Technologies (HPTs) organisation.

“At KEMSA, we are rededicating ourselves to duty, and the KEMSA 2.0 strategy with measurable targets, will be anchored on three operating pillars, all geared at ensuring that medical needs are appropriately handled. Ours is a life and death duty as you can never postpone a medical need. KEMSA will remain at the heart of facilitating quality health provision by the frontline health workers through the provision of Health Products and Technologies,” Ramadhani assured.

In the next 180 days, the KEMSA 2.0 strategy, she said, will be delivered on a solid foundation of extensive stakeholder engagements to win their trust.

She added that robust and enhanced corporate governance standards by the Authority’s Board and Management have been formulated and will be executed to ensure operating transparency, accountability and end-to-end visibility across the supply chain.

Among other specific milestones, the Authority, which recently announced the adoption of a new organisational structure, is training its sights on the competitive recruitment, filling and onboarding of KEMSA 2.0 staff members by the end of next month.

In October, the Authority hopes to activate the pilot testing of a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system as it seeks to leverage Information Technology solutions to power the KEMSA 2.0 reform agenda. 

By December, KEMSA is optimistic about winning back the trust and seeing the return of USAID, which has been a key operating and funding partner.

“Before the end of the year, we are sparing no effort to win back the trust of a key partner such as USAID and ensure that we fully operationalise the new KEMSA National Supply Chain Centre,” she said.

She added, “We have the goodwill of the Government, the people of Kenya and operating partners. With the KEMSA 2.0 strategy, ours is an ambitious yet specific and measurable strategy that will position KEMSA as a true public, commercial agency, well positioned to deliver last-mile supply chain solutions for the local health system,” Ramadhani assured.

The launch of KEMSA 2.0 is the third phase of the reforms announced in November 2021. The first phase was the announcement of the reforms and setting up structures to institutionalise priority reforms identified by the KEMSA Reforms Implementation Committee (KRIC) and ran between February 2021 and January 2022.

The second phase was the KEMSA Business Reforms Continuity Team operationalisation to implement a 90-day work plan culminating with, among others, the appointment of a substantive KEMSA Chief Executive Officer to spearhead the reform agenda. 

The ongoing transformation efforts spearheaded by the new KEMSA board, backed by the Government through the Ministry of Health, are geared at improving organisational governance, integrity and efficiency.

Over the years, several oversight bodies have cited the current organisational structure as an impediment to KEMSA’s service delivery capacity.

As currently structured, KEMSA has not operated at the required optimum levels to support critical functions, including planning, quality management, partnerships, resource mobilisation and compliance assurance mechanisms which have heavily affected the Authority’s effectiveness and productivity.