Kagwe explained that at the time the government was procuring the PPEs, prices around the world were high due to increased demand.
“When we recorded our first case the global demand for PPEs was huge, we got into the market at a time when the demand was extremely high but because we had an emergency we had to contend with the situation as it was.
“Price is largely controlled by demand and supply schedules but while we worked on this situation we started addressing our local capacity for the production of PPEs to make sure that we were not subjected to prices that were not cost-effective to our service delivery,” he noted.
Local manufacturers were challenged by the Ministry of Health to provide PPEs which have grown as the country is now in a capacity to export.
The Ministry also sought a waiver for counties to acquire PPEs from different suppliers not just from Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) to get value for money.
Kagwe revealed that he sought to clarify the media reports about the government procuring PPEs at high costs.
“I wanted to make those remarks because obviously there have been those reports about the prices that were there before for PPEs.
“I would like to say that anybody doing a little bit of research will find that was indeed the situation at that time,” explained Kagwe.
Questions were raised in July after it emerged that KEMSA was procuring Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) at inflated prices of almost double the market price.
Details also emerged on how newly-registered companies secured lucrative tenders at KEMSA despite there being little proof that they were capable of fulfilling their obligations in the deal.
Acoording to the reports, a total of 12 companies were allegedly awarded tenders worth Ksh3 Billion to supply items that were not covered in KEMSA’s budget as of June 4, 2020.