Corruption perpetuated by greedy public officials and networks at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) risk jeopardising a grants programme supported by International donors, putting millions of lives of ordinary Kenyans at risk.

The Global fund has warned that Kenya may miss out on funding unless it addresses graft claims dogging KEMSA. At risk is Ksh.3.1 billion funding from major donors to fight Covid-19 due to the multi-billion shillings scandal at KEMSA. Donors have demanded that Kenya expedites investigations into the KEMSA scandal and also cooperate in the ongoing audit of the agency.

The country was put on notice by the Global Fund yesterday, which said that the country could miss out on donor funding if it does not address corruption allegations revolving around the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) by the medical supplies agency.

“We are all aware of the recent allegations of corruption at Kemsa. We know investigations have been going on and some are completed. It is important that we have commitment from all stakeholders to ensure that Kemsa’s challenges including governance, transparency and accountability are resolved,” warned Mark Edington, Head of Grants at the Global Fund, during the virtual signing of the grant programme witnessed by top officials from the Health Ministry and National Treasury.

Edington revealed that an audit by the Global Fund Office of the Inspector General (OIG)is currently ongoing, asking the government to cooperate with the auditors.

“We look forward to the support of the Hon Cabinet Secretaries for Treasury and Health, and the Board of KEMSA, to work with the OIG to address issues that arise during the on-going audit as the GF’s future decisions will be heavily guided by the findings and recommendations arising from the audit,” he said.

He warned that even though the body appreciated the ongoing reforms at KEMSA, its cleansing was very critical for the health sector.

Senior officials at KEMSA were suspended last year over corruption allegations after the agency was accused of procuring low quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) items at inflated prices as the government desperately moved to protect its citizens in the midst an unprecedented and debilitating global epidemic.

In a report presented to the Senate, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) documented evidence of “criminal” behaviour by officials over the procurement of COVID-19 emergency equipment. Indicting the national medical supplies agency, the commission said there was “irregular expenditure” of over Kshs.7.8 billion.

The Global Fund is currently reviewing its Sh3.1 billion funding for Covid-19 interventions in the country.

Notwithstanding, the Global Fund, approved a Kshs. 48 billion grant towards the next phase of the fight against Tuberculosis, HIV and malaria during the virtual event. The grant will be administered by the National Treasury, Amref and the Kenya Red Cross (KRC).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.