Kenya’s demand for medicines to rise in 2021 amid COVID-19 pandemic

March 9, 2021
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Kenya’s demand for medicines in public health facilities is expected to rise in 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the government medical agency said on Tuesday.

George Walukana, acting director, commercial services, Kenya Medical Supply Authority (KEMSA) told Xinhua in Nairobi that public health facilities typically consume approximately 30 billion shillings (about 270 million U.S. dollars) of medical commodities annually.

“With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, demand for health commodities is expected to increase in 2021,’’ Walukana said during the inauguration of sunscreen lotions to the albino society.

Walukana said that the government experienced a decline in demand for medicines in 2020 as the public was weary of visiting health facilities for fear of contracting COVID-19.

“The situation has since improved as more Kenyans are now visiting hospitals,’’ he added.

KEMSA said that it procures and distributes about 1,000 products including key essential medicines such as painkillers and antibiotics to public health facilities across the country.

The state-owned medical agency is also supporting the universal healthcare program that is currently being rolled out across the country.

Walukana noted that it plans to increase the availability of medicines across the country in order to lower the cost of healthcare in the country.

He observed that the government agency will leverage technology in order to improve the efficiency in its supply chains activities.

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