Turkana announces plans to start making own medical supplies

Turkana county officials receiving a consignment of medical supplies from Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) in Lodwar town on March 8, 2022. The county has announced plans to start manufacturing some medical supplies to cut costs and reduce over-reliance on Kemsa.

Photo credit: Sammy Lutta | Nation Media Group

The Turkana County government has announced plans to start manufacturing its own medical supplies.

Health Chief Officer Malcolm Lochodo said the devolved unit won't be relying on the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) for supplies like sanitiser and detergents.

Dr Lochodo said a capacity assessment report by the county’s department of health jointly with USAID Afya Ugavi revealed that Turkana can manufacture some medical supplies.

"We want to manufacture detergents and sanitisers for medical use in a bid to cut costs and reduce over-reliance on Kemas," he said.

Turkana County Chief Health Officer Dr Malcolm Lochodo receiving a Covid-19 booster dose on February 4, 2022. He said that medical supplies to be manufactured at the county level include sanitizer and detergents.

Photo credit: Sammy Lutta | Nation Media Group

Dr Lochodo said a Health Products and Technologies Unit (HPTU) has been established that will make enough sanitiser and detergents for all public facilities in the county.

“The HPTU formed by Governor Josphat Nanok as per the policy advisory from the State Department of Health has an experienced technical workforce to produce quality supplies," Dr Lochodo said.

The HPTU director Dr Epem Esekon said the manufacturing will commence once approvals are received from the public health laboratory, where test samples were submitted after successful trials during the Covid-19 pandemic period.

Dr Epem added that the unit would work closely with USAID Afya Ugavi and other partners to address the gaps identified by the independent assessment.

He said they have consolidated medical needs and fast-tracked the acquisition of other health products.

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