Jun 18, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Standoff as Kemsa loses Sh70bn contract with US

The Nation has determined that what began as a minor antiretroviral drug dispute between Kenya and the United States has escalated and threatens the fight against malaria, tuberculosis and HIV.

The Kenyan Ministry of Health has rejected pressure from the US government to hand over the lucrative drug distribution contract to Chemonics, an American company that has had its fair share of scandals around the world.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe argues that reforming the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) is a better way than removing the contract, which is like throwing the baby away with the bath water.

Already, to demonstrate the government’s determination. The ministry replaced the entire Kemsa board, but this move may have come a little late.

The ministry also believes that awarding the contract to a third party would weaken Kemsa who buys medicines for all public health facilities in Kenya and has spent billions of shi. The other card on the table is the sovereignty of the country as this is an er Donor squeezing would mean arguments US government officials won’t buy.

But the immediate victims of the escalating stalemate are helpless patients who rely on the cheaper, donor-funded drugs to get on To stay alive.

Blackmailing donors

At the center of the struggle For the soul of Kemsa is the five-year contract for 70 billion Shillings, which expired last year and was renewed several times from month to month , but now due for full renewal before the US dropped the bomb. It was no longer willing to work with Kemsa.

The Sh 7.8 billion procurement scandal at Kemsa was the final nail on the cake Coffin of treaty that came days after a joint report by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Global Fund have raised concerns.

The nation has determined that Conversations between the K. The Re Government of Enyan and the US is going downhill.

A letter from Eric Kneedler, Chargé d’affaires at the US Embassy in Kenya, shows US government officials in Nairobi had a virtual meeting with CS Kagwe on April 8th , who discussed the US government’s commitment to Kemsa and continued support for Kenya’s medical supply chain.

However, the meeting did not resolve all of the issues as the conflict escalated in the four days leading up to April 12, when the US held onto its guns and chose to use chemonics.

“As discussed in the solicitation, after examining evidence and credible allegations of fraud and corruption submitted by the Inspector General’s Office by USAID and in the light of the Biden administration. The US government has determined that it is no longer tenable to continue working with Kemsa, ”the letter sent to CS Kagwe says in part.

If the global Fund a similar then Kenya’s health crisis will worsen. USAID and the Global Fund have invested significant resources in Kemsa.

The two institutes have provided Kemsa with at least Sh 100 billion over the past five years. The development partners were heavily dependent on Kemsa for the procurement, storage and distribution of health products.

Forming a committee

In the expired contract, USAID supported the Kemsa Medical raw material project with total funding of around 69 Shill billion (US $ 650 million) to procure all US government-funded goods for the five-year period 2015-2020.

Kenya is one of the “big impacts” of the Global Fund. Countries with actively signed grants of Sh40.7 billion (USD 384 million) for the period January 2018 to June 2021.

The Global Fund has supported programs for HIV, tuberculosis (TB ) and malaria in Kenya. Disbursed more than Sh 120.8 billion (USD 1.14 billion) to the country.

The report finds that 60 percent of that billion will be used for the procurement of health supplies through Kemsa. For its part, the US government signed a contract with the Kemsa Medical Commodities Program through USAID in 2015.

The program aims to operate a safe, reliable and sustainable supply chain management system for HIV / AIDS goods needed, to care for and treat people with HIV / AIDS and TB in Kenya. It also supports the storage and distribution of US government-funded goods for family planning, nutrition and malaria.

The US embassy says the dismantling of relations with Kemsa can be reconsidered if the government does Agency through strengthening and reconstruction reforms protective measures, systems and controls in the agency.

To this end, the US would like the department to set up a committee to deal with the challenges in Kemsa and the regulatory approvals that Immediately regulates VAT and other tax exemptions for the shipments.

Correspondence shows that the Department of Health was willing to work with the US government on a proposed surveillance or monitoring of donations to the Kenyan government, but it is not ready for another company to hand over the Kemsa deal.

“I would like to urge the Ministry of Health to end Chemonics as Bevo The letter signed by Mr. Kneedler reads in part, adding that Chemonics may import, store and distribute goods during this period. The US government “cannot cooperate with Kemsa”.

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