Kenya Medical Supplies Authority unveils new inventory management policy

KENYA – The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) Board has launched a new inventory management policy aimed at enhancing its organizational integrity and efficiency as part of its transformation journey.

KEMSA is a specialized medical logistics provider for public health facilities and programmes under the Kenya’s Ministry of Health whose mandate is to procure, warehouse and distribute medical supplies.

It is the first point of call for procurement, warehousing and distribution of Health Products and Technologies listed in relevant essential lists at various county referral hospitals hence the state agency earns lucrative business deals from the devolved units which are its single largest customer cluster.

It is mandated to ensure supply chain excellence for Health Products and Technologies (HPT) to ensure positive health outcomes such as Information Technology solutions that provide limitless opportunities.

The state agency recently automated its medical supplies procurement process which includes integrating information technology systems and eliminated manual procedures that require human intervention such as the issuance of Local Purchase Order (LPO).

Automating the LPO process will ensure that KEMSA eliminates the time spent for suppliers to pick the physical copy before making deliveries of medical supplies to enhance the Authority’s efficiency levels as well as the need for human intervention in medical supplies procurement and deliveries.

The state-owned agency also introduced a new credit management strategy to ring-fence county government allocations to pay debts owed to the state agency to boost its service delivery capacity, the counties owe KEMSA about KES2.64B (US$23.22M) for medical supplies since November 2021.

Subsequently, the recent Inventory management policy adopted by the KEMSA Board is geared towards ensuring adherence to optimal stock holding levels in an effort to reduce stockholding exposure costs of health products and technologies inventories.

The key policy was benchmarked against world-class inventory management practices aligned with the Ministry of Health National Health Products and Technologies Supply Chain Strategy 2020 – 2025 focused on positioning KEMSA as the lead government supply chain agent for HPTs.

In addition, the adoption of the inventory management policy will accelerate efforts to transform the central Nairobi Warehouses at Embakasi into a fully-fledged national distribution center authorized to flag off HPT supplies to regional centres as the authority seeks to decentralize its operations.

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority also intends to automate contracting where suppliers would be emailed contracts for their perusal and signing before submitting to KEMSA as opposed to going to the KEMSA offices to sign the contracts.

For Financial Year Budget 20222/23, KEMSA has dispatched KES25.5 B (US$220M) worth of Essential Medicines and Medical Supplies (EMMS) and National Health Strategic Programs (NHSP) supplies to more than 8,741 health facilities countrywide.

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