The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) plans to digitize its services by October 20th this year to enable efficient stock monitoring.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr.Andrew Mulwa said that the authority is not just working on automation but developing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that will be able to digitize the health products and technologies ecosystem.
Mulwa said the system will enable patients and clients at home to have an interface through which they can check their nearest dispensary whether it has drugs or not, and the nurse at the hospital to check the drugs and stock level from their gadgets.
“As KEMSA we can be able to see what is available at facility level and county level so that we may know a certain county has gone low on stock level of a drug and start planning for their stock,” he said during editors retreat in Mombasa.
He added that the authority will also be able to trace every commodity that reaches a patient and look at disease trends and do surveillance on uptake of a certain drug to find out what is happening.
The CEO said the rolling out of the digitization process will be done by October which will start from KEMSA, working with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and linking up to the Integrated Health management System to the country.
Mulwa said that the authority has had challenges in the past but has now changed for the better following improved efficient service delivery to the public.
He noted that as the CEO, he is determined to change KEMSA to be free from scandal and be a transparent organization, breaking its walls for the public to know its position.
He added that the procurement process at the authority will always be open for the public to know when a tender was advertised and how it was awarded thus the need to digitize the whole process.
He invited the media to witness and report on the procurement process to build trust and accountability.
“I am looking for more engagement with members of the fourth estate and I have allowed my team to be open and always speak to you as there are no bureaucracies involved where it is the CEO or Chairperson who can speak,” he said.
He urged counties to allocate sufficient budgets for medical supplies saying it is a challenge in some counties as the budget cannot sustain even a sub-county.
“I recognize the value that counties have for KEMSA to deliver in its mandate, if the counties will be able to focus and quantify the drugs and other health products that they require, we will be able to serve them well,” he said.
He noted that disease trends have now changed but with increased interventions, some diseases have become seasonal endemic in some counties.
He said KEMSA must continue to change with the dynamic in the disease pattern, for them not to stock what is obsolete.
“Due to advancement of technology some first line HIV drugs referred as Tenofovir Lamivudine Efavirenz (TLE) were being used before 2019/2020. There was scientific evidence that we need to switch to Tenofovir, Lamivudine, and Dolutegravir (TLD) drugs which are more efficacious and less toxic to the patient,” added Mulwa.
He said the country had just bought a consignment of Sh.1.6 billion to cover the country for 18 months but the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended for transition and had to switch.
According to Mulwa, the MOH planned a transition and said that they will start buying the new molecule which is safer and will be issued to the people who come to clinics.
“When the patient groups realized the other drug is safer and less toxic all of them demanded for it, thus the ministry guided by WHO decided to change from faced switch to a complete switch which necessitated to the TNE that had arrived in the country and at KEMSA stores to be rendered useless,” he said.
The CEO noted that KEMSA has had a bloated workforce of 962 by last year adding that they have now been able to rationalize that to about 550.
He said they are now working with the human resource instruments to ensure that we get the optimal number and have staff that can perform well.