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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,17TH AUG 2020-The country’s Ministry of Health now says it only received about 15 per cent of the total funds set aside for combating COVID-19.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and PS Susan Mochache made the revelation when appearing before the National Assembly’s Health Committee to answer questions regarding the disbursement of funds to counties in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic on the backdrop of an expose by a local media outlet.
Kagwe sought to clarify that his ministry was not responsible for the entire COVID-19 funds wallet, tossing that ball over to the Treasury’s court.
“COVID-19 funds are not health ministry funds…Money assigned to MOH is about 15 per cent of the COVID-19 fund…it is being made to look like 15 per cent is 100 per cent,” said Kagwe.
PS Mochache said Ksh.3 billion of the ministry’s supplementary budget is what was disbursed for treatment to various facilities across the country among them Coast General Hospital (Ksh.500 million), JOOTRH (Ksh.400 million), Kitui hospital (Ksh.300 million), Mandera hospital (Ksh.300 million), KNH (Ksh.600 million), MTRH (Ksh.400 million) and KU Hospital (Ksh.500 million.)
The PS added that MOH received Ksh.1.5 billion from Treasury which it released to KEMSA for the provision of testing kits and reagents.
The ministry then received another Ksh.300 million which it also transferred to KEMSA for the procurement of reusable masks to vulnerable people.
Treasury yet again disbursed a further Ksh.200 million which was meant for operations in quarantine facilities.
PS Mochache added that the ministry received Ksh.5 billion from the national government which was disbursed to all the 47 counties as conditional grants.
“As MOH released the funds, it communicated accordingly to counties that the money was expected to be spent on counties to prepare emergency response plan, building capacity for isolation and quarantine support and training of health workers,” she said.
CS Kagwe, on his part, said,” On the issue of accountability, when we (MOH) disburse funds, there is clarity on what should be done…it is not conditional…as a ministry we do not have accountability on it as it comes from Treasury.”
The CS said investigations are still ongoing over KEMSA procurement issues as well as medical equipment donated by Jack Ma, however urging the public to avoid “fiction and innuendos.”