The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) is a specialised medical logistics provider for Ministries of Medical Services/Public Health and Sanitation-supported health facilities and programmes. KEMSA works to support the National Health Strategic Plan and the Kenya Health Package for Health in providing public health facilities with the “right quantity and quality of drugs and medical supplies” at the best market value. KEMSA’s overall mandate is to procure, warehouse and distribute medical commodities to public health facilities operated by the Ministry of Medical Services.
To effectively deliver on the mandate, KEMSA carries out the following core functions that underpin its Business Priorities:
Procurement: A mainstay function, procurement’s task is to source efficacious drugs and medical commodities at verifiable value-for-money prices for the tax-paying public. Our procurement procedures are guided the Public Procurement Regulations. KEMSA was created purposely to provide institutional framework for sourcing medical supplies centrally in order to ensure quality and economies of scale.
Warehousing: Integrity of medical commodities requires more than just a roof over an open space in a four-wall enclosure. The specialised nature of drugs and medical commodities call for state-of-the-art racking schemes that facilitate ease of storage and stock retrieval procedures. Storage conditions for drugs and medicines vary from product to product in terms of lighting, temperatures and humidity, conditions that KEMSA warehouses throughout the country fulfil. Warehousing activities are also conducted to ensure the highest health and safety standards.
Distribution & Customer Service: Customer Service Centres are conveniently located in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kakamega, Nyeri and Garissa. Manned by competent Regional Liaison Officers, the regional customer service teams work closely with health facilities to identify, quantify and make requisitions for essential drugs and medical commodities on behalf of our clients.
Over and above ensuring sustainable stock levels of essential drugs and medical commodities, the regional liaison teams are also responsible for sensitising health practitioners and the public on rational drug use.
Some sections of the population find it near impossible access essential medicines due to a number of factors, among them budgetary constraints and resistance to available drugs. The National Medicines Policy (NMP), which incorporates both concepts of essential drugs and preventive health care, ensures to ensure pharmaceutical services meet the requirement of the country in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases using efficacious, high-quality, safe and cost-effective products.
KEMSA implements goals of NMP in the following ways:
Quality Assurance: Our Quality Assurance systems ensure that all medicines and commodities conform to the highest standards possible. Over and above its in-house quality control mechanisms as outlined in the official “Quality and Procedures Manual”, we use other quality certification bodies such as the National Quality Control Laboratories and the Kenya Bureau of Standards to assure quality of medical commodities.
Rational Drug Use: Being essentially a pharmaceutical supply Authority, KEMSA knows more about drugs than any non-specialised procurement entities. The Kenya government entrusted KEMSA with the responsibility of running the rational drug use campaign following the “Kenya Essential Drugs List” which guides national expenditure on medicines. “Essential drugs are those that satisfy health care needs of the majority of the population, and must, therefore, be available in adequate amounts and appropriate dosage forms”. This campaign is embedded in the KEMSA’s customer service team’s work plans to champion ideals of rational prescribing and use of drugs among health workers and the public.