State strives to reverse drugs inspection directive to avert shortage

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 00:00 |
Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki. PHOTO/FILE

The government is under pressure to reverse a directive subjecting pharmaceutical products to double inspection.

People Daily has learnt that Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki was yesterday shuttling between Afya House and State House to seek the President’s word on how to deal with the situation which has already thrown the country into a drug crisis as importers staged a boycott.

Efforts to reach the CS were fruitless as her mobile phone was switched off.

A clearing agent at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) cargo section said the go-downs holding pharmaceutical goods have been empty.

He, however, said the JKIA Customs Office has advised them to proceed with clearance of the drugs without the mandatory Pre-Export Verification Certificate Order (PVoC) as the crisis is being resolved. 

Kenya Pharmaceutical Distributors Association (KPDA) made an official announcement on Monday on halting of drugs importation citing cost implications.

In a telephone interview with People Daily yesterday, KPDA chairman Kamamia wa Murichu said the boycott has seen major hospitals and NGOs that provide healthcare report a drug crisis. 

“Bodies that have programmes in other countries such as South Sudan, and rely on imports passing through Kenya have reported this crisis,” he added. 

However, he said the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) is considering bringing the PVoC inspection to Kenya. 

More on National