National Assembly Health Committee Seeks Answers on the Utilization of Covid-19 Funds
The Departmental Committee on Health in the National Assembly on Thursday met with the Boards of Management of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA),the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), and the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH) in a bid to gather facts on the receipt and expenditure of the funds allocated to the Institutions, towards the fight against the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Following a wide public outrage resulting from allegations of misappropriation of these funds allocated towards the management and mitigation of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Committee chaired by Murang’a County Woman Representative, Hon. Sabina Chege, sought specific answers from top managers of these institutions on how much money was received, how much was spent, and how much of the money disbursed is left.
In his presentation to the Committee, the chairman of the KEMSA Board of Directors, former Murang’a Senator Kembi Gitura, informed the committee that the Authority had Since March 2020, received a total of Kshs 2.18 Billion from the Ministry of Health, of which Kshs 1.5 Billion was earmarked for procurement of reagents and test Kits.
An additional Kshs.300 Million was received in full for procurement of locally produced re-usable facemasks in collaboration with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce, and a total Kshs 77.7 Million was received for procurement of PCR Tests & Extraction Kits and Virus Transport medial for Covid -19, among other expenses outlined in their comprehensive presentation to the committee.
The Kenyatta National and Referral Hospital, through the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Evanson Kamuri, told the Committee that since March until August 2020, the Hospital has received a total Kshs 1.5 Billion from the Ministry of Health, of which, Kshs. 150 Million was set aside for the renovation and equipping of the Mbagathi Isolation Centre, Kshs. 245 Million for Personnel emoluments, Kshs. 157 Million for Medical Allowances for frontline healthcare workers, Kshs. 350 Million for Emergency Responses, and Kshs. 250 Million for other emergencies that came with handling Covid-19 patients. However, the Board informed the committee that of the total amount, Kshs. 897 Million was received in the month of July and still remains largely unspent.
The Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral, and Research Hospital’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Victor Njom, told the Committee that the Hospital had received a total Kshs. 1.29 Billion in donations, Kshs. 10.45 Million being from IGAD and which was used to furnish 45 covid-19 staff apartments.
The rest from the money which came from the Ministry of Health was budgeted for as follows: Kshs. 245.1 Million for Covid-19 Staff support, Kshs. 526.5 Million for Infrastructure Development, Kshs. 500 Million set aside for recurrent expenditure, and Kshs. 12.27 Million catered for Frontline Workers’ Allowances.
The Committee, is scheduled to hold another sitting Friday, August 28, with the Board and Management of the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), the Kenya Medical Training College ( KMTC), Kenya Medical Research Institute ( KEMRI) and the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC) to receive audit reports on their utilization of Covid-19 related funds in the fight against the Pandemic among other issues.