What you need to know:
- Drugs with Government of Kenya (GoK) labels were recovered over from a private medical facility in Kenyenya sub-county that is linked to the MCA.
Patients and caregivers in Kisii County continue to suffer in the hands of medicine thieves who cause shortages in various public hospitals.
A member of the county assembly has been implicated in the latest incident after drugs with Government of Kenya (GoK) labels were recovered over the weekend from a private medical facility in Kenyenya sub-county that is linked to him.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC) and County Public Health Department raided the clinic following a tip-off from the public.
Kenyenya police boss Gomba Sebe said that investigations are ongoing to bring the suspects, who operate Magena Viewcare Medical Centre, to justice.
“DCI officers were there. We arrested a member of staff on Friday. We released her on a cash bail of Sh15,000 because she has a right to bail. She will be arraigned in court on Monday to face charges of possession of drugs labelled GoK,” said Mr Sebe.
The DCI detectives took the drugs and some documents they found at the facility to theirKenyenya offices as investigations continue.
County Public Health Officer Thomas Oirere told journalists: On Friday November 17, a report was received from members of the public that there is a facility operating as a clinic and pharmacy in Bomachoge Borabu and selling government drugs. Together with officers from the DCI, we visited the facility and impounded the drugs.”
Investigations are ongoing to establish how the drugs found their way to the private facility, Mr Oirere said.
Kenyenya Public Health Officer Edward Siocha, who participated in the raid, noted that some of the impounded medicines are those that are normally issued in public health facilities for people living with HIV.
“We impounded 39 doses of Septrin that are suspected to have been pilfered from the Patients Support Centre Clinic where people living with HIV usually receive their dosage,” Mr Siocha said.
Preliminary investigations also indicate that the clinic may have been operating without all the required certifications.
“We are investigating if licenses are authentic or fake. We will return here on Tuesday next week for further action,” said a KMPDC official.
But Oirere seemed to indicate that the facility did not have valid licences.
“We had not inspected or licensed the clinic because when my officers visited sometime back the owner said that he was closing shop due to losses. But it was still operational yesterday (Saturday) when we raided,” said Mr Oirere. He added that the facility did not have a single business permit from the county.
KMPDC officials said that the clinic may have displayed a fake licence certificate at its premise purportedly issued by it on October 4, 2022, with an expiry date of December 31 this year.
The suspected fake document indicates that the clinic was certified to operate as Magena Viewcare Medical Centre, a private level 3A Basic Health Centre, under registration number 017694 and license number 60437.
However, a scan of the QR code indicated that the facility name that came up was JB Dental Clinic with registration number 003040 and license number 606214.
Mr Oirere called on the public to be extra vigilant and ensure that they seek medical care in authorised facilities only.
“I am appealing to members of the public to visit only facilities that are licensed and authorised to operate,” he urged.
Governor Simba Arati has in the last one year been complaining about theft of drugs in public hospitals. He indicated that security cameras would be installed in all public hospitals to monitor the movement of medicines and operations of the facilities.
The health systems of various public health facilities, Mr Arati had indicated early this year, would also be automated to track movement of medicines and other medical supplies.
In February, a group of county residents accosted a health worker who had allegedly been caught while attempting to sneak out pharmaceuticals from a public hospital