The Directorate of Criminal Investigations has launched a probe into officers of the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service (KNBTS) who allegedly sold blood donated by Kenyans to Somalia.
Citizen Digital on Wednesday, March 11 reported that in a case opened on Wednesday, March 4, the DCI sought to establish the roles played by KNBTS officers in the creation of an artificial blood shortage in the country by illicitly trading supplies meant for Kenyan hospitals.
Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe told the publication that he was aware of the matter, stating it was under investigation by the DCI.
Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses the media from the Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
In a statement dated Friday, March 6 and sent to DCI George Kinoti, Kagwe alleged that there was a cartel in and outside the country orchestrating the shortages and illegal sales.
“The Ministry is aware that there are criminal elements both within and outside the country who are colluding with outsiders to escalate the problems pertaining to blood countrywide,” Kagwe stated.
“These cartels have been engaged in blood trade within as well as outside the country for selfish gain without any regard to women and children who are dying in hospitals as a result of this shortage,” he added.
The CS asked the sleuths to investigate the matter lest it spill out of hand.
Kagwe revealed that the Ministry had enacted measures to curb further blood shortages in the country.
He informed that the move was inclusive of a Bill that would govern the donation, processing and distribution of blood. The ministry would also establish an ICT system able to trace transfused blood, from the source to the patient.
In 2019, several health facilities in different counties across the country reported massive blood shortages, all pointing fingers at KNBTS. The counties included Nakuru, Machakos, Garissa and Kisumu.
KNTBS, which is the country’s only blood bank attributed the crisis to financial challenges. The agency serves to collect, examine, process and distribute blood products to all transfusing medical facilities in the country.
KNTBS argued that the US government withdrawing its PEPFAR funding hit the country hard, and as a result, blood banks were running dry.
Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters along Kiambu Road