KEMSA directs all non-core staff to work from home

KEMSA directs all non-core staff to work from home

BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,4TH NOV,2021-The Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) on Thursday asked all non-core staff members to work from home amid ongoing reforms in the national medical logistics provider.

In its general notice letter, the new KEMSA board says the release of non-essential staff is aimed at facilitating the review of operations in the state agency, amid revelations of poor performance by the institution in the execution of its mandate.

“KEMSA is currently grossly underperforming and largely unable to meet clients’ urgent needs, particularly the delivery of essential medicines and products to the Counties, Referral hospitals, and Programs,”

“This has endangered the lives of Kenyans and is gravely threatening the realization of the Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC), which is critically predicated on a successful and optimally operating KEMSA.” The board said in a statement.

Even though the board indicated the affected staff will be operating away from the office for 30 days, there is suspicion within the institution that they have been relieved of their duties. This is especially so, given the tone of the statement issued by the board in this regard.

“Attendant sensitivity and empathy will be maintained as the Board is committed to ensuring a smooth review,” Board Chairperson Mary Mwadime said

She went on to stipulate measures to be put in place to ensure a smooth transition process, noting there will be a commitment to inclusivity where all staff will be engaged and appraised throughout the notice period, including the provision of psychosocial support.

“The necessary counseling and psychological support will be availed to all staff,” she said, clearly indicating those affected may not have their jobs back.

Amid this confusion, one thing is clear – the agency has is in a deep mess.

Indeed, the board acknowledged that after careful review by a task force formed to provide an independent operating recovery strategy, it has been established that among other things, KEMSA is undergoing financial and supply chain crises amid chaos in its procurement, warehousing, distribution channels.

The board holds that these challenges can only be addressed through reforms in the institution’s structure, governance, and processes.

“The board is committed to facilitating necessary reforms to ensure that KEMSA challenges are sufficiently addressed,” Mwadime said

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