Efficient supply of life-saving health products possible


The world has just celebrated World Health Day, which commemorates the April 7, 1948 founding of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

On this recent occasion, I spared some time to reflect on the essence of this auspicious day with some local spice.

I was particularly captivated by the adopted theme this year, focusing on our planet and health. I perused and skimmed through the World Health Day material. Some of the material posed profound questions that took me on a reflective journey.

Among them: Are we able to reimagine a world where clean air, water and food are available to all? Where economies are focused on health and well-being?

Where cities are liveable, and people have control over their health and the health of the planet?

I added a question: Are we able to guarantee timely delivery of medical supplies to the remotest parts of this country and the world?

Suffice it to say that the envisaged planet and cities where people have control over their health and that of the planet cannot be realised with dysfunctional access to health products and technologies.

The streamlining of access to last-mile destinations; in the far-flung areas such as Rusinga Island, Kibich in Turkana, or even the closest health centres such as Korogocho, in Nairobi is not rocket science.

Neither can we afford to shun contemporary technologies or processes that guarantee efficiency in the public medical supply chain space.

Over the years, Supply Chain practitioners have pursued several models that guarantee efficient delivery of products.

From complex parts used to manufacture aircraft in Everett, Washington in the US or even the clockwork, mind-boggling movement of supplies, transmission technology, equipment, cars and fuel for Formula one racing teams.

If it can be done for such complex assignments, we can undoubtedly get the supply chain solution right for life-saving health commodities.

Over the last few months, Kemsa has made tremendous progress focused on organisational reforms. The Authority adopted IT solutions and streamlined procurement and inventory management while wading through HR management challenges to ensure that the organisation remains fit for purpose.

For Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) national scale-up, Kemsa reduced the order turnaround time from 46 days in February 2021 to 16 days.

In recent days, we have also started the automated procurement rollout, including issuing certified electronic local purchase orders (LPOs).

To guide local manufacturers and boost their competitiveness, we have also posted to the Kemsa website Specifications for Essential Diagnostic Supplies (SEDS) and Specifications for Essential Medical Supplies (SEMS) to ensure alignment with the Kenya Essential Medicines list.

As we mark the World Health Day season, we celebrate the selfless, patriotic Kenyans working at Kemsa who have facilitated positive health outcomes by prioritising well-being of our people.