Tag Archives: PSK

Making medicines more accessible to all

Making medicines more accessible to all

 

Setting the pace for affordability of quality medicines

Med source Group Limited Kenya, was launched on 11th October 2018 at Villa Rosa Kempinsky Hotel in Westlands. This  is the first organization of its kind in Kenya – ‘a group purchasing organization’ dedicated to improve the availability and affordability of quality medicines and related supplies for the people of Kenya as well as assist members to build sustainable businesses and provide services they can use to grow and prosper. MedSource Group leverages the combined purchasing power of it’s members to negotiate favorable contract pricing from suppliers and offers members access to a broad catalogue of quality products from prequalified distributors and manufacturers.

CEO, MedSource Group Limited, Dr. Peter Kamunyo together with Ms. Marian W. Wentworth, CEO Management Science for Health and invited guest during the launch at Villa Rosa Kempinsky Hotel in Nairobi.

This launch brought together different leaders from the pharmaceutical industry representing both public and private sector who saluted the entrance of Medsource group into the market, as a much needed solution to various problems ailing the health sector. Dr. Fred Siyoi, Chief Pharmacist and registrar -Pharmacy and poisons Board, welcomed Medsource group to the market. He reiterated that “The presence of Medsource group will contribute to the achievement of Universal Health Coverage through reducing the cost of medication. The government welcomes the important role played by all health stakeholders and Medsource Group’s role cannot be overemphasized.

According to the sustainable development goals 2030 set by the United Nations, goal 3 states that; ensure healthy lives and promote well being of all at all times. Many nations worldwide are making efforts to achieve this for example in Kenya this falls under the big four agenda set by his excellency president Uhuru Kenyatta for his second term. Affordability of quality medicine is one of the challenges faced towards enhancing access to affordable and quality care.  “Even as the world is making great strides at improving health outcomes, even in low – resource countries, access to medicines continues to be a challenge. MedSource Group also presents an innovative way for Management Science for Health, to create  private – sector opportunities to help deliver quality health services and products to more people. We are happy to add this novel approach to the range of other work that we have done over the years and we hope this venture in Kenya is just the beginning of similar work throughout Africa” Marian W. Wentworth, CEO Management Science for Health.

“The MedSource Group platform will be valuable to stakeholders such as pharmacies, hospitals/clinics, distributors, manufacturers and especially patients. Our main focus is and will always be to improve accessibility and availability of affordable, quality medicines and laboratory and health supplies for healthcare providers and people from all walks of life.” Dr. Douglas Keene, MedSource Group Chairman and Management Science for Health vice president for the pharmaceuticals and health.

Dr. Peter Kamunyo, Medsource Group CEO, expressed his optimism that the organization will fill the gaps in the availability and affordability of quality assured life- saving medicines, including those used to manage non – communicable diseases. “Many families are struggling to continuously provide medication, especially to handle non – communicable diseases such as cancer, hypertension and diabetes among others. Through Medsource Group, healthcare providers will be able to procure the medicines their clients need at more affordable prices.” Dr. Peter Kamunyo, Medsource Group CEO.

MedSource Group Limited, CEO, Dr. Peter Kamunyo (right), Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry Chair, Dr. Anastacia Nyalita (second right) Director, Metropolitan Hospital, Dr. K Gakombe (centre) and secretary general Kenya Medical Association(KMA)Dr. Simon Kigondu during a panel discussion at the MedSource group launch

The organization’s membership is open to pharmacies of all sizes, hospitals & hospital groups, institutions, in-house clinics, dispensaries, clinical laboratories, and health networks. Based in Nairobi, it is a fully owned subsidiary of Management Sciences for Health (MSH), a global nonprofit organization based in the United States.

Key membership benefits, in addition to the MedSource electronic platform to access price agreements, order and pay for their quality-assured medical supplies directly to the distributors includes; training support for business skills, pharmacy practices, and inventory management, facilitating access to credit, IT solutions and data analytics for improved integration and tracking of business transactions including purchasing and inventory management.

 

 

Medic East Africa Conference

Medic East Africa Conference

 

 

6th Healthcare Management Conference

The 6th annual Healthcare Management conference, organized by Medic East Africa, took place at Kenyatta International Conference Centre ,Nairobi, Kenya from 25th  to  27th September 2018.The conference had three different themes for each of the three days. The first day’s theme was “From vision to Action – Reinforcing Healthcare Systems in East Africa, the second day was “The Role of Clinical Officers in the Implementation of Universal Health Coverage” and the third day’s theme was “Quality and Access under Universal Health Coverage”. The objective of the forum was to drive the region towards a health leadership infrastructure that is focused on perfomance and is held accountable for delivering on specific health system goals.

Reinforcing Healthcare Systems in East Africa ,day one theme during Medic East Africa conference at KICC, Nairobi

The conference brought together over 150 exhibitors from 18 countries. The first day conference was moderated by Dr. Amit N. Thakker, Chairman, Kenya Healthcare Federation. In his presentation, he emphasized that the key barrier to reinforcing healthcare systems in east Africa are; geographical and financial. Dr. Thakker informed the attendees that over 85% of Kenya population do not have any form of a cover and rely on out of pocket. 50% of the population do not have an access to primary healthcare and this set back results from poverty. He called upon all healthcare workers in attendance to come out strongly in health advocacy because unfavorable health outcomes such as maternal mortality are increasingly becoming a daily occurrence. Dr. Thakker further urged the attendees to capitalize technology, which is in itself revolutionizing daily.

Dr. Amit N. Thakker, chairman Kenya Healthcare Federation, speaking at the Reinforcing Healthcare Systems in East Africa, Medic East Africa Conference at KICC,Nairobi

 

“We need to adopt auxiliary health workers and also strongly recognize community health workers for the big role they play in health. The ministry of health should have considered hiring the specialists that we don’t have instead of employing what we already have because this doesn’t help in filling the identified gaps in the workforce. The BIG 4 Agenda is supposed to ensure creation of job opportunities and 5% of the jobs are expected to come from the health sector. Therefore I call upon the public and private health sector to operate in harmony to see great job creation and ensure good service delivery.” Dr. Amit Thakker, Chairman ,Kenya Healthcare Federation.

Dr. Andrew Mulwa CEC-Health, Makueni County informed the attendees that some of the challenges in the county level towards achieving Universal Health Coverage are: lack of healthcare workers i.e. the recruitment and retention of human resources for health is very low. This is because most of the specialists that are required in the counties, are mostly concentrated in the urban areas. Finance is an important factor affecting access to quality healthcare and is challenge because most of the population does not have a formal employment therefore cannot purchase or contribute to medical cover plans. This leads to over reliance on out of pocket expenditure. He however added that recruitment and retention of the health workers should match the county’s economical abilities.

Dr. Andrew Mulwa CEC-Health, Makueni County presenting on the achievements of Makueni County, during the Medic East Africa conference ,KICC, Nairobi

Dr. Janet Muriuki, Deputy Chief of Party/ Technical Director – Intrahealth International was in attendance and said  “We need to motivate the health workers, to help in reducing immigration. Assessing the reason for immigration, creating a favorable environment for them to work and giving them a good remuneration will also help in retaining the health workers. However, there is low distribution of health workers where majority are concentrated in the urban areas. Question is, are we taking training where it is needed? Are the specialist deployed where they are needed? This should be the initial stage in gap analysis. Technology should be a vital tool in this .This is because it can display the gaps in the human resources and distribution of health workers and track the training of health workers i.e. who needs long term training and who needs short term training. Therefore it’s important to deploy specialist where there is deficiency and not where there is a surplus.” She emphasized that the health sector needs to employ workers who are fit for purpose and the health workers should ensure they are safe in their working environment. This would serve as one of the solutions for curbing immigration of health workers. According to world health organization(WHO),the ratio of health workers to the population per county should be 23:10,000 in Kenya whereas the current ratio is still low as we stand at 13:10,000. Dr. Muriuki noted that the counties with highest health workers deficiency are  Isiolo and Wajir.

Ms. Faith Muigai, Regional Director, SafeCare, Pharm Access Foundation reiterated that there is need to need to shift attitude and create a good environment for patient care. We also have to change the narrative if we want to see good service delivery. However, she noted that there is poor or lack of infrastructure to enhance this. There is no independent body that checks the health workers performance thus there is no competition that would drive quality of service delivery. Ms. Faith said that more health facilities should be accredited and the accreditation system need not be a pass or fail model but one of incremental growth. In conclusion, Ms. Faith mentioned that data is required to drive transparency and accountability, that there is need to leverage on public private partnership so as to drive the quality agenda, and finally that there is need to invest in proactive and responsive versus reactive solutions.

Some of the major concerns that were raised from the audience were: there should be an assessment carried out on why there is poor distribution of health workers and even lots of immigration observed among the health workers and come up with a solution. There should also be a safe working environment for the health workers because some of the equipment and medication used exposes them to the dangers of contracting infections or even developing other health conditions. There was a recommendation that the health workers should be trained on disaster management even as we assess the training needs in the healthcare industry. Participants expressed unanimous consensus that there should be capacity building among the leaders to enhance accountability on financial management and on performance of healthcare workers. The policies created should also speak to each other.

The 6th annual Healthcare Management conference was a success bringing together a wide representation of stakeholders. The presenters provided key insights into the challenges and opportunities in the healthcare industry while the audience contributed engaging and thoughtful questions and remarks. If these ideas were implemented, we would expect to see the healthcare industry change for the good of all Kenyans! We look forward to the next conference

Private Health Sector advocates for quality and affordable Medicines

Private Health Sector advocates for quality and affordable Medicines

Effective supply chain will establish a strong road map to achieving Universal Health Coverage

Quality and affordable medicines is key in achieving Universal Health Coverage. However in Kenya the prices of medication is very high thus putting patients with Non Communicable Diseases especially Diabetes and Hypertension in financial hardship and others are not able to keep up with the medication leading to more complications.

Supply chain committee meeting at Kenya Healthcare Federation offices during the quarterly meeting

It has also been noted that there is importation of illicit drugs and the government should be very keen in curbing this. How can the private sector contribute in improving the quality of medication and ensuring the medication is affordable?

Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) supply chain committee held it’s quarterly meeting on 28th August 2018 at KHF offices. The meeting was chaired by the committee chair Dr. William Mwatu. Supply chain falls in two of the president’s BIG 4 Agenda that is manufacturing and affordable healthcare. The supply chain committee has been pushing for the support of local manufacturers this makes the medicines affordable.

“What are the reasons that support parallel importation and what are the impact? One of the major reason is to make profit but this has a negative impact on patients safety” Dr. Peter Kamunyo, Director Kenya Healthcare Federation. “When it comes to the supply of medication, the private sector should use Public Private Partnership (PPP) as a channel to advocate for the pharmaceutical regulatories to operate within the law.” Dr. Anastacia Nyalita, Director.

There was a consensus on developing a unique identifier and best coding mechanism, for example each drug pack should contain original details so that when a patient uses the code to search on the details of the pack , they should be able to get them. “Therefore the supply chain should use PPP as a channel to advocate for this.” Dr. William Mwatu Supply Chain Committee Chair.

Recently, the Pharmacy and Poison Board (PPB) of Kenya made a bold decision to address what maybe the local pharmaceutical industry’s most controversial issue, ‘Parallel Importation of pharmaceutical products. There has been few attempts made to tackle this but not be successful, however PPB hopes that the current attempt will be successful through considering all important aspects in order to build a consensus among all interested parties in coming up with a policy position that is not only widely acceptable but also addresses most of the contentious issues once and for all.

The key issues to consider is create more incentives towards local manufacturing, change perspective and strategize on how to marketing for local products. A consideration should be put on what percentage off is to be given to the local manufacturer to give value addition. The main aim of reducing the cost is to increase on accessibility and not maximize profit. The committee will be pushing for implementation of the guideline draft act by pharmacy and poisons Board (PPB) Dr. William Mwatu was re-elected as the committee chair and Mr. Chris Masila was elected as the committee vice Chair.

Universal Health Coverage Conference in Nyeri

Universal Health Coverage Conference in Nyeri

Second Universal Health Coverage Conference in Nyeri

Kenya Vision 2030 delivery secretariat in partnership with Ministry of Health (MoH), Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF), Amref Health Africa, Kenya Cardiac Society, Council of Governors, NCD Alliance Kenya, Kenyatta University and Nyeri county health department organized the second Universal Health Coverage Conference held at Green Hills Hotel, Nyeri County from 11th – 12th September 2018. The conference sought to address the non – communicable disease (NCD) challenge to the country and was appropriately themed “Universal Health Coverage for Sustainable Development – Transformative Solutions to Halt and Reverse the Non-Communicable Disease Epidemic”

The conference was graced by several dignitaries: Her Excellency Dr. Carol Karugu, Deputy Governor, Nyeri County; His Excellency Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, Governor, Kisumu County; His Excellency Prof. Kivutha Kibwana, Governor, Makueni County; Dr. Julius Muia EBS, Principal Secretary, State Department for Planning;  Dr. Racheal Kamau, CEC Health, Nyeri County.

Hon. Caroline Karugu, Deputy Governor Nyeri county, addressing the attendees during the second universal health coverage conference in Nyeri county

Rev. Samuel Njenga of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa opened the conference with prayer and thereafter giving a brief address. He said that the church has a vital role to play in advocating for and sensitizing the people about good health.

Dr. Kamau welcomed participants and thanked the organizers for choosing Nyeri County to host the conference, adding that she looked forward to fruitful deliberations.  “Nyeri County is facing a high burden of NCDs. We need to change our ways of practice and take up the challenge” she remarked. Thereafter Dr. Kibachio Mwangi, the Head of NCD unit at MoH highlighted the key objectives of the conference which were: Understand the NCDs challenge; outline the role of private sector in addressing NCDs; outline the role of consumer organizations in protecting the public from sale of harmful products; and outline the role of government, civil society and the youth in addressing NCDs. Dr. Mwangi emphamphised that NCDs are not purely a health agenda, but require a multi-sectoral approach incorporating sectors such as transport, education and agriculture particularly in prevention measures.

“We should put health first; unfortunately what are addressing is a result of our choices such as what we eat. Good health plays an important role in boosting the economy, reducing poverty, increasing education and boosting investment” Dr. Julius Muia said in his address to the conference.Preventive measures against NCDs took center stage in the deliberations. It was appreciated that more focus needs to move to prevention as we continue in disease management interventions.

The consensus on the way forward included creating awareness, education of the public and preventive measures against NCDs, adoption of a multi-sectoral approach, utilizing Public- Private Partnerships and supporting local pharmaceutical manufacturers to make medicines affordable and strengthening the supply chain. “Managing NCDs is very expensive. If we truly want to make UHC achievable, we need to address the issue of cost. If we reduce costs we’ll be able to expand the care. The biggest PPP opportunity in cost reduction is in supply chain”, said Dr. Peter Kamunyo, Director, Kenya Healthcare Federation.

Further, there was consensus that community health volunteers (CHVs) should be officially entrenched in the health system. It was recognized that CHVs play a very critical role in NCD public sensitization. It was agreed that NHIF be strengthened, that it should cover preventive health checks and that it should ensure that the poor and vulnerable are covered. The country should strategize on addressing the poor availability, lack of affordability and inadequate resources as barriers to UHC. Young people should be informed and sensitized on NCDs so they can act as role models to their peers in NCDs prevention. NCD education should be incorporated in the school curriculum.

A patient representative at the conference made an appeal to the health sector to address survivorship of NCDs, a phase of management that insurance doesn’t cover. She highlighted that cancer patients are usually deserted by friends and family after diagnosis due to the burden of their disease on their loved ones. “We are left alone. It’s time for medics to inform us how we can survive after diagnosis of an NCD like cancer. This way trauma can reduce and a patient can accept the situation, love on themselves and even achieve their goals. The price of medications is usually very high and almost unaffordable. Patients get financially drained while trying to get medication”, said Elizabeth, a cancer survivor of nine years.

Professor Nyong’o called on stakeholders to identify areas of inequity in health care, and strategize on how to fill the gaps. “Counties don’t have a strong primary healthcare system, the aim of UHC is to strengthen primary healthcare” said Dr. Karugu, while Prof. Kibwana called upon all pilot counties to learn from each other as a way achieving UHC uniformly, further adding that CHVs will play a big role in rolling out UHC, particularly in educating communities.

Professor Kibutha Kibwana, Governor speaking at a press briefing during the second Universal Health Coverage Conference in Nyeri County

The conference was well attended attracting 400 delegates drawn from both public and private health sectors. There was representation from national government, county governments, World Bank, the United Nations office in Kenya, Non-governmental organizations and youth organizations. KHF was represented by the chairman, Dr. Amit Thakker, directors Dr. Peter Kamunyo and Dr. Daniella Munene, Dr. Joy Mugambi, deputy Secretary General, Kenya Medical Association (all panelists), as well as several KHF members who attended as delegates. A number of KHF member organizations sponsored the event.

 

Setting up Ethiopia Healthcare Federation

Setting up Ethiopia Healthcare Federation

Kenya Healthcare Federation sets foundation for Ethiopia Healthcare Federation

The Ethiopian Private Health Sector organized a committee, to visit Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) on June 6th – 8th 2018, with the aim of meeting with the secretariat and member associations of Kenya Healthcare Federation as recommended by the World Bank consultant. The main objective was to interact with their experience and gain knowledge on how to organize and structure the anticipated Ethiopian Healthcare Federation,that will be the voice of the Non State Actors (NSA) in the health sector. The Ethiopian team met with various KHF members including Kenyan Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI), Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK), National Nurses Association of Kenya (NNAK), Kenya Medical Women’s Association (KEMWA) and Kenya Medical Association (KMA).

Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya meeting with the Ethiopian Delegates                                             

KAPI was represented by Dr. William Mwatu, Dr. Francis M. Karanja and Dr. Eva Amwayi who introduced themselves to the Ethiopian delegation as one of the pioneer associations to be established in the pharmaceutical sector. It plays a great role in safe – guarding the interests of its members by getting involved in policy drafting and implemention. It also has implemented a self-regulatory system within its member institutions which has played a key role in a fostering a close working relationship between its stakeholders and public sector. It’s financial sustainability is guaranteed through membership contributions, projects supported by partners such as; the World Bank, IFC, Netherlands embassy as well as Public – Private Partnership (PPP) programs in the sector. The association’s membership is voluntary and open to institution in the pharmaceutical sector that subscribes to KAPI’s code of ethics.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) was represented by their CEO, Dr. Daniella Munene, Dr. Munene introduced the 58 year old organization to the Ethiopian delegates, informing them that PSK seeks to promote ethical practice and promote continuous professional development (CPD) amongst it’s members. She went on to explain that PSK membership is drawn from members working in private, NGO and public sectors provided they are registered by regulator, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board. The society provides CPD to members, requiring them to attain a certain number of CPD points annually for renewal of membership. PSK membership is in turn a mandatory requirement for annual licensure by the regulator .

This constitutes a self – regulatory model which goes a long way in curbing malpractice and gives the society leverage in enforcing membership. The National Nurses Association of Kenya (NNAK) was represented by their President, Mr. Alfred O. Obengo. He informed the Ethiopia delegation that NNAK fifty years old and one of the strongest members of the KHF due to it’s numbers. The association functions in all 47 counties of the nation. At grass root level, the local branches of the association deals with the local county administrative organs. The national association has a seat at KHF where it presents the issues that are not solved at the county level. This is the key benefit cited by Mr. Obengo that NNAK has gained from being a member of KHF. He further elaborated that KHF has contributed a lot to the Universal Health Coverage(UHC) agenda of the country, as the government has identified private sector as missing link in UHC – realization. Other benefit of KHF membership as mentioned by Mr. Obengo are networking and – new business opportunities its members. NNAK also provides a CPD program to its members, who must demonstrate that they attained the minimum number of CPD points at the time of annual license renewal.

Dr. Christine Sadia, National Chair of Kenya Medical Women’s Association (KEMWA) introduced her association to the Ethiopian team, informing them that the association has a strategy known as “From Womb to Tomb” that focuses on women, encouraging them to take care of themselves in the midst of their demanding dual roles of home makers and health professionals. Membership is open to all healthcare professionals. Their members are also members of their parent Kenya Medical Association(KMA).KEMWA has a program that supports their members to go back to school to further their education.  Dr. Jacqueline Kitulu, President, Kenya Medical Association(KMA), welcomed the Ethiopians and explained that  KMA has a very strong voice in KHF as it is also represented in the Board of Directors.

Kenya Medical Association together with Kenya Medical Women Association and Ethiopian Delegates

The Ethiopian delegates were later invited for a dinner meeting by COSMOS Pharmaceuticals where, Dr. Dawit Moges expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome and hospitality given by KHF Secretariat, In addition, he applauded the advocacy work being done by different Healthcare Associations in Kenya saying, “As a pioneer in the region KHF has accomplished lots of impressive deeds that should be taken as exemplary and should be considered to be installed in ours. The Ministerial Stakeholder Forum” and the “Presidential Round Table” could be the first milestone that should be given emphasis while drawing the roadmap of the long journey of Ethiopia Healthcare Federation. Openness to all health associations for membership and revenue generation through projects can also be emulated” He concluded.

 

 

 

 

       

 

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