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Reprieve as MPs release Sh2bn for Covid testing kits

by biasharadigest
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Reprieve as MPs release Sh2bn for Covid testing kits

Covid-19
A driver is tested for Covid-19. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Ministry of Health won a major reprieve on Tuesday after it secured Sh2 billion for purchase of Covid-19 testing kits and chemical reagents.

The Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) has reallocated the funds initially set aside for hiring of health workers to be used by the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) and Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) for Covid-19 related expenditure.

The MPs on Tuesday allocated Kemsa Sh1.5 billion for procurement of kits and reagents while Sh500 million went to KMTC whose centres are being used for isolation of coronavirus asymptomatic patients.

Lawmakers last week rejected reallocations of Sh1.5 billion – from the Sh3 billion ring-fenced for referral hospitals – to the Kemsa, arguing that the State agency was under investigations by the anti-graft agency for buying substandard reagents and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers.

“The PS met us and convinced us to reallocate Sh2 billion that had initially been set aside for hiring of health workers. The money meant for salaries was not spent,” Moses Lesonet, the BAC vice chairperson said while moving amendments to the Third Supplementary Budget.

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