Watch this KTN news story (start at 7:53) about the devastating situation caused by the Railway Development Levy and the VAT implemented on September 1st. As a result of the levy, hundreds of CML* patients are going with out the lifesaving drug Glivec, that is donated to Kenyan patients through an agreement with the Novartis drug company. HENZO, the advocacy arm for CML patients, and a member organization of KENCO, has gone to bat for these patients and is working to alleviate this levy. In addition to CML patients, the levy is affecting all other areas of healthcare, including the GAVI Alliance’s initiative to provide HPV vaccines through a pilot program in Kitui County.
At present, the Ministry of Health is working to ensure that an amendment passes through Parliament to exempt the healthcare sector from this levy.
Additional news items on this story:
Sept 13, 2013. Cancer patients hang by a thread as drugs held. Standard News article by Lonah Kibet.
Sept 12, 2013. Cancer drugs seized in tax row. Daily Nation article by Mike Mwaniki.
[Update: On Friday, September 13, 2013 it was confirmed that MOH would pay the levy duty to release the Glivec drugs to the patients waiting. It is now going through the bureaucratic process, and it is expected that meds will be released in the coming days.]
*Chronic Myelogenic Leukemia