Medics and officials managing different public hospitals in Nakuru have accused Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) for supplying hospitals with drugs with a short lifespan.

They complained that drugs for treating various ailments including vaccines are  expiring before they could be prescribed to patients and goes into wastage.


Speaking during public participation forum held in Nakuru, the stakeholders said the wastage makes the county  incur huge losses.

Kemsa representative Maina Nding’ori attributed the expiry of drugs to numerous strikes witnessed in the county.

Nding’ori argued that Kemsa consults with county pharmacists before distributing drugs to respective hospitals.

“Expiry of drugs in the county is witnessed more during strikes because there are no patients visiting the hospitals,” said Nding’ori.

Prof James Tuitoek, the chair of the newly formed health task-force asked the county to identify drugs that they need before procuring.

He said that currently, some hospitals have had to share their drugs with neighbouring facilities to avoid wastage.

He cautioned that Kemsa to supply drugs with long window, to avoid wastage.

“Supply of short lifespan drugs causes wastage of millions of shillings that can be prevented if counties find drugs that they need in their various hospitals,” said Tuitoek.

Surprisingly, some facilities are said to be supplied with drugs and medical items that they do not use.

He pointed out that some hospitals were supplied with maternity items, yet they did not even have delivery services offered.

The chairman further asked the county to have private public hospital collaboration for effective service delivery to patients seeking medical attention.

Most private hospitals, he said have modern medical equipment compared to government hospitals.

Among facilities in private hospitals include ambulances for referral purposes during emergencies.

His call comes at a time when the county is experiencing a crisis in its referral services because it lacks adequate ambulances and skilled personnel.

The county has a total of 23 ambulances but only 8 can provide swift referral services more so in rural areas.
During emergency, the county government is forced to depend on Kenya Red Cross, that has only two ambulances based in Naivasha and Nakuru town.
While the ambulances are expected to refer patients in need of emergency attention to hospitals, some are stalled for lack of drivers and trained medics to operate them.
A number of ambulances are also said to be stalled in various hospitals after being written off after they were involved in road accidents.
Bahati sub county hospital is among hospitals equipped with a modern ambulance but it is not operating because of lack of a driver to operate it, the hospital management is therefore forced to contact either Nyahururu hospital in Nyandarua or one stationed at the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital to refer patients. 7
Red Cross Representative Njeri Muhia in cases where there are many casualties, they have been providing much needed help.
In places where ambulances are available, drivers are ill-quipped to operate them.
According to Njery Muhia from Red Cross, ”The county should employ drivers with skills to man ambulances. This is crucial because in any emergency, they’re also required to save a life,”  she said.
She added that the county needs a regional call centre that would be instrumental in case of mass casualties.
In response, Deputy Director of Medical  services Dr David Wainaina said the county’s referral services was deficient because it is expensive to operate ambulances.
Wainaina said cost of purchasing and equipping a new ambulance is expensive as one costs at least Sh10million including equipping them.
These issues are emerging as a task-force appointed by Governor Lee Kinyanjui and is expected to submit the final report this week for implementation aimed at ensuring smooth health service delivery.