The County Department of Health and Sanitation has completed its first bi-annual quantification exercise for the financial year. The exercise seeks to ensure an uninterrupted supply of affordable medicine.
The Directorate of Health Products and Technologies brings together the Directorate officials, and those from the sub-county, Lodwar Referral Hospital (LCRH) pharmacists, laboratory services, public health, and Programs.
According to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2022, 37% of Turkana residents cited financial constraints as one of the challenges they face in accessing healthcare.
This therefore emphasizes the importance of minimising out-of-pocket payments to private clinics and hospitals, to ensure universal healthcare to all is affordable.
Speaking while closing the meeting, Ag. Director of Medical Services, Alice Akalapatan stressed on the importance of inventory management of commodities and equipment in all the facilities.
“Data is key as it informs accurate projection of the quantity of drugs required to avoid over or under-estimation of commodities,” Director Akalapatan said.
She emphasized on accurate data, needs-based planning, and availability of resources for successful commodities quantification and future needs.
The Ag. Deputy Director for Health Products and Technologies, Paul Kare, pointed out that the exercise also involved data collection and verification to accurately quantify and forecast the health products and technologies needs of the county.
The Ag. Chief of Party for USAID Imarisha Jamii, Dr Evans Osembo, assured the participants that the project was ready to work together with the county to strengthen the health products and technologies supply chain.
He revealed that the inventory management system being piloted at LCRH is the best approach to improve inventory accountability.
Presentations from James Ekamais (County Emergencies, Preparedness, and Responses Coordinator) and Samson Lokele (County Ophthalmic Services Coordinator) brought into focus areas of consideration.
Ekamais highlighted the need to consider buffer stock for malaria, cholera, and non-food items as part of the preparedness for the expected El Nino.
As partner-supported programs begin to wind down, Lokele pointed out transitioning programs will require support with health products and equipment from the county.