A six-tonne consignment of drugs went into waste at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) since the government officials were indecisive over clearance.
The 6.1tonne of pentavalent vaccine was meant to protect mothers and children against five deadly diseases.
The consignment that had arrived in 2017 at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Swissport storage wasted away because of bureaucracy and failure to pay clearance token fees.
Many Kenyans have since been denied immunization against haemophilus influenza type B (the causative bacteria for meningitis, pneumonia and otitis media), diptheria hepatitis B, whooping cough, tetanus among others.
As its name dictates, pentavalent is a Five-in-One vaccine.
A copy of a confidential letter addressed to Health Director-General Patrick Amoth from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB), revealed the mess, where the letter was headed: “Collection and Disposal of Expired Vaccines at JKIA Swiss Port Storage”. In the letter, the storing firm wants the expired vaccines destroyed as they occupy valuable space.
The board states in the letter that it was notified of the expired vaccines at Swissport, and that through the cargo services, the board had been given a waiver of the fees where in turn they wrote to the ministry to clear and organize the disposal of the vaccine, an action that the ministry left hanging.
“The purpose of this letter is to consider expediting the collection of the consignment and facilitating safe disposal of the same in line with the PPB for safe management pharmaceutical wastes,” the letter says.
“The board is apprehensive that improper disposal of these vaccines will occasion negative public health outcomes.”