Supply chain management practices and stock levels of essential drugs in public health facilities in Bungoma East Sub-County, Kenya
Supply chain management practices correctly applied in Public Health Institutions can contribute greatly in maintaining the availability if essential drugs in public health institutions. A number of studies have been carried out in the field of supply chain management targeting different industries but no studies have focused on the availability of drugs in public health institutions in general or in a particular Kenyan sub county region. This study therefore assessed the effect of supply chain management practices on the stock levels of essential drugs in public Health Institutions in Bungoma East sub-county. This was a census study of all the15 public health institutions in Bungoma East Sub-County on supply chain management practices and the stock levels of essential drugs. A structured questionnaire set in Likert scale format was used to collect the data. Most of the practices that were studied scored highly apart from the tendering requirement by public procurement and disposal act 2005 and regulation 2006. The assertion that KEMSA drugs are cost effective were strongly upheld. Market price fluctuations was identified as the most challenging factor that could affect stock levels of essential drugs in health facilities in Bungoma East sub-county. Findings from this study indicate that as currently practiced public procurement is not effective in reducing the cost of drugs. Therefore there is need to evolve, for example to e-procurement which saves the costs of the preparation and transmission of paper purchase. requests and invoices and thus eliminating costly, time -consuming errors from manual data entry. To ensure steady, accessible and affordable stock of essential drugs, the supply chains need to be cushioned against price fluctuation. Adequate funding of the sector is also recommended.