Cape Town – Thousands of condoms, mosquito nets and other medical supplies have been stolen from the Kenyan Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa), the UN said on Wednesday.
The medical equipment supplier based in Nairobi, which is a UN-backed global fund, revealed that goods sent to the authority disappeared from the warehouses under unclear circumstances, according to a UN report.
The report found that the medical equipment supplier has poor internal controls on warehousing and inventory management resulting in 16% differences in batch numbers verified and discrepancies of 908 000 long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) between actual and expected stock balances,” says the global fund’s report.
According to the Nation, the lost medicines are believed to have been stolen and resold on the black market and to private chemists, shining a spotlight once again on Kemsa over its graft record.
The report further accuses Kemsa of lacking the ability to properly monitor the distribution of its drugs and commodities, thereby making the agency vulnerable to theft, said Kenyan online news publication Kenyans.oc.ke.
In November the country faced a stiff condom shortage with experts blaming the shortage on heavy taxation of the commodity in a country where free condom programmes are mainly donor-funded.
The country needs 455 million condoms annually, but the government is able to provide only 1.6 million per month.