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KEMSA gains international notoriety after World Body uses it as scapegoat in its own scandal

The name of the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency, KEMSA, is currently being tossed around in international circles, as a major world health body tries to explain itself out of a multi-million dollar scandal that spun across multiple continents and is feared to have resulted in the illness, if not deaths, of many people.

Between 2017 and 2019, Tana Netting, a Pakistani Manufacturer, was tasked with providing health materials to over 20 countries by the international health body, Global Fund.

Global Fund cleared Tana Netting as a prequalified supplier and it committed to quality control procedures.

However, the company, which was supposed to provide mosquito nets ended up producing sub-standard nets with ineffective chemical amounts and shabby fabric.
“The nets had a reduced life span and were outside of the required product specification, due to being under-dosed with insecticide,” Global Fund said in its report.

“Tana did not adhere to approved manufacturing requirements and failed to control product quality of over 52 million Dawa Plus 2.0 LLINs costing US$106m, in violation of the Supplier Framework Agreement,” it added.

But in addition to this, Global Fund is now pointing an accusing finger at KEMSA.

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority has been fingered for continuing to buy the nets directly from the Pakistani manufacturer, known as Tana Netting, in total disregard of quality control reports.

The Global Fund claims that it notified affected countries of the defective nets in March last year, and has even gone ahead to now publish its full findings.
However, it also tried to acknowledge its own failings, saying it had no procedures to monitor whether Kemsa and the National Treasury (the Principal Recipient of GF funds) were providing quality control testing results to the Global Fund.

The Global Fund secretariat, for instance, could not confirm whether it received pre-shipment testing results for 5.7 million Dawa Plus 2.0 nets procured directly from Tana by a Principal Recipient in Kenya, at a cost to the Global Fund of US$13.8 million.

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Written by Joshua Wanga

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