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Medical kits ‘lying idle’ in 27 counties

Tuesday October 22 2019

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IBRAHIM ORUKO
By IBRAHIM ORUKO
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Equipment supplied to at least 21 hospitals under the Sh38 billion Managed Equipment Services (MES) are either idle or dysfunctional, a Senate committee heard Tuesday.

Similarly, equipment in some health facilities have neither been commissioned nor tested yet counties have been forced to pay up to Sh200 million this financial year for the equipment.

They were paying Sh95 million in the previous years

'DUMPED KITS'

But Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki denied the claims, saying the equipment was not dumped in the counties and that a need assessment was done before they were procured

“Discussions on the distribution of the equipment were a bit laboured, each county demanding what they required. The fact that some assessment was done between 2008/14 is enough evidence that there was a need assessment and it’s documented,” she said.

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But members of the committee chaired by Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo could hear none of it.

Ms Dullo asked the CS whether her ministry had done any interventions to make sure the equipment is in use.

Nominated Senator Mary Seneta insisted that the equipment are not working and accused the ministry of forcing counties to pay.

“MES is not working in 27 counties. Why are counties paying for what they are not using? What is the hurry for paying for these equipment, yet they have not been commissioned, tested or helped anyone. Why are we paying?” Ms Seneta asked the CS.

CRITICAL CHALLENGES

Documents tabled before the committee show that the equipment that was ‘dumped’ in 21 hospitals, were still idle and remained non-commissioned.

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula said there was no consultation between the ministry and counties because the equipment were delivered in facilities that lacked basic infrastructure.

“As far as Human Resources is concerned, the ministry is not supposed to deploy personnel,” he said.

As part of the need assessment documents tabled before the committee, the ministry had identified in its report the critical challenges in provision of personnel.

“That notwithstanding, you did not tell the counties to first train personnel to handle the equipment. You went ahead and deployed the equipment, in fact you went and dumped the equipment in various hospitals in counties,” the senator told the CS.