In an effort to ensure adequate and efficient supply of Health Products and Technologies (HPTs) to health facilities across Turkana, Mission for Essential Drugs and Supply (MEDS) and County Ministry of Health will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the near future.
Speaking during a prayer meeting yesterday at St-Teresa Pastoral Center in Lodwar, Acting Chief Officer Joyce Illikwel said that the proposed MoU between the Health Ministry and MEDS will ensure smooth supply of medical commodities to all health facilities to cushion gaps sometimes left by KEMSA.
The meeting also discussed a 90-day credit period to be adopted by two parties and included in the proposed MoU, this is to provide enough time between verification of documents, supply and payment. She reiterated the need for MEDS to ensure last mile distribution of HPTs to facility level to improve access and availability of the HPTs. “MEDS responsibility as a supplier is to supply 100% of HPTs to (last mile) all facilities across Turkana.” She said.
Illikwel suggested that the MoU should be extended from a two to a three-year working period. MEDS is faith based and non-profit organization formed as ecumenical partnership to improve accessibility to quality health care in Kenya.
The Acting Chief Officer commended MEDS for the continued mutual relationship that has grown over the years, urging the institution to consider helping the needy as drought had devastated the community which is majorly reliant on pastoralism.
She asked MEDS to consider opening a branch in Turkana to ease access to commodities and reduce transportation costs, adding that rains sometimes affect roads causing delays in delivery of drugs to user facilities.
Illikwell urged MEDS to offer capacity building to health staff as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility to the County Government, saying that the gesture would promote efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery to residents. She further asked MEDs to ensure back orders are minimized and ensure a timely and full supply of the initial HPTs supplies.
The County Government is only mandated to have a direct supply of medical drugs from KEMSA and only seeks supply from Meds when KEMSA does not have certain commodities, requested by the Government.
MEDS Managing Director Dr. Wycliffe Nandama appreciated the County Government for the good relationships and the combined efforts to provide better health care to Turkana residents.
On the last Mile distribution, Dr. Nandama promised to look into the clauses that need amendment in the previous Framework Agreement that will lead to a better and implementable MoU between the two institutions.
Deputy County Pharmacist Paul Kare said that the objective of MEDS visit was to strengthen strategic partnership to continuously and consistently evaluate the relationship in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.
Kare urged MEDs to improve the order fill rate to an acceptable level beyond the current 85% to enable the Government to achieve prompt availability of HPTs for quality service delivery.
MEDS Managing Director was accompanied by Acting Head of Marketing and Strategy Gladys Mburu, Sales and Marketing Manager Shadrack Meme and Credit Control Manager Patrick Njoroge. Representatives from the County Government included Deputy Director Health Products and Technologies Dr. David Moru among others.
The prayer meeting brought together all stakeholders in Turkana region to brainstorm and discuss better working relationships between MEDS as a supplier and her clients scattered across Turkana. The clients include Diocese of Lodwar, AIC-Health Ministries, Reformed Church of East Africa, Pentecostal Assemblies of God and Turkana County Government.