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1 million condoms go missing from Kemsa warehouse

Global Fund, a UN-backed organisation has ordered investigation into missing billions, condoms and medicine at Kemsa.

KEMSA premises

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) is on the spot after the Global Fund report said that 908,000 mosquito nets, 1.1 million condoms and tuberculosis medicine worth Sh10 million were missing from its warehouse.

For close to 20 years, Global Fund, which is backed by the United Nations has donated over Sh159 billion to Kenya to combat HIV/Aids, tuberculosis, malaria, and Covid-19.

The organisation blamed Kemsa’s inefficient control systems for missing items.

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Kemsa has poor internal controls on warehousing and inventory management, resulting in 16 per cent differences in batch numbers verified, and discrepancies of 908,000 long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) between actual and expected stock balances,” read an excerpt of Global Fund’s report.

The organisation also raised the alarm about alleged fraudulent suppliers seeking Sh1.66 billion from Kemsa.

We identified 165 long outstanding/undelivered local purchase orders (LPOs) valued at $14.5 million (Sh1.66 billion). The high number of LPOs without attached delivery notes poses the risk of fake suppliers or diverted procurements,” the report added.

According to the audit, Kemsa is also accused of inflating the worth of pharmaceuticals by Sh640 million, with some types of medicine being overstated by 100 times.

The Global Fund's anti-graft agency, called the Office of Inspector General (OIG), has now recommended an additional inquiry into Kemsa, potentially jeopardising its Sh50.6 billion funding to Kenya.

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Kemsa’s Nairobi warehouse was overcrowded with commodities during our visit, making it difficult to trace commodities.

For example, in a physical sample count, Kemsa could not locate three of eight batches of TB medicines (worth $91,000/Sh 10,396,750 of a total $570,000/ Sh65,122,500),” the report added.

Unexplained adjustments amounting to $544,000 (Sh62 million) were also highlighted in the report.

The audit also discloses that billions intended to aid in the fight against Covid-19 have gone unused, claiming that the funds have been underutilised.

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Eight months after the first Covid-19 funds were awarded (31 December 2020), only 15 percent had been utilised, rising to 17 percent by 31 March 2021,” Global Fund said.

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