CS Kagwe wants pharmacy board structure changed

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020 00:00 |
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe. Photo/PD/Kenna Claude

Hillary Mageka 


Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe will not renew the term of members for the Pharmacy and Poison Board (PPB) citing “weak governance structure.”

He is adamant that there will be no renewal or fresh appointments unless the governance structure of the board is changed.

Kagwe told the Senate ad hoc committee yesterday that the Board’s structure was ineffective and incapable of offering guidance to the institution.

The CS said he would only appoint their replacement after the Pharmacy and Poisons Act is amended to alter its structure as is currently provided in the law to make it responsive to modern trends.

Regulatory gaps

“Boards are appointed for the purpose of directing and guiding institutions. This one has failed largely because of the way it is structured,” he told the committee chaired by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.

The committee invited Kagwe to explain the delay in appointing new board as it had caused regulatory gaps in the industry and undermined the war against the coronavirus at the time the surge in numbers is worrying the state.

“You are the one to appoint the Board and you owe it to the public to explain what is happening,” Sakaja challenged told Kagwe, arguing that the industry players were concerned about the delay.

In his defence, the CS stated that the problem with the Board, and all other agencies in the ministry, was lack of professional dynamism.

In particular, he argued, the board was occupied exclusively by pharmacists and there is less regard of experiences from other fields such as ICT, finance and governance, law and engineering.

 “The chair is a pharmacist,  so is everybody on the Board. This is incestuous and no value addition in terms of professionalism,” he said.

 He asked lawmakers to support amendments to the Act to rectify the anomaly.

He however admitted that the current Covid-19 pandemic was by and large the reason he has not replaced or renewed terms of those whose mandate has expired, thus the perception of delay.

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