Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has vowed to eradicate corruption at the Kenya Medical Supply Authority (Kemsa). Mr Kagwe said the government will clean up Kemsa to enhance efficiency.
Mr Kagwe, who was speaking when he opened a three-day retreat between the Ministry of Health and the Kenya Editors Guild at the Ocean Beach Resort in Malindi town, said the government had set up a new management structure and an efficient board at Kemsa.
He said reforms at Kemsa are aimed at ensuring that Kenyans get value for their money.
Universal Health Coverage
“The clean-up might mean that the government reengineers Kemsa into a tight fitting unit rather than just having masses of people for effective running of universal health care,” he said.
Mr Kagwe said it will be difficult for the government to implement the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) without an efficient operating Kemsa.
He said the reforms will include bringing on board people from the Ministry of Health, including the Kemsa board chairperson Mary Mwadime.
The CS said the move to bring the editors on board to discuss the issues of UHC and how the department can work effectively with the media was crucial for the success of the programme.
“We want to engage the editors to agree on how best to help Kenyans because we have the same goals,” he said.
However, Mr Kagwe dismissed claims that Kemsa headquarters had been put under the Kenya Defence Forces. Health Permanent Secretary Susan Mochache said the MOH guidelines on the containment of Covid-19 must be followed at all Kenyan border posts.
Kenya Editors Guild president Churchill Otieno said the media has a role to inform the public on health matters to enable them make informed decisions.
"The media exists to make sure the Kenyans get timely and reliable information to help them make decisions about their lives and how to improve them," he said.
Mr Otieno said editors and journalists cannot work effectively unless they get informed about what the government is doing to ensure the health sector delivers to Kenyans.
"When the editors and reporters do their job well, Kenyans are in a better place to know what is happening about their health," he said.