6.1 tonnes of pentavalent, also known as Five-in-One, a vaccine that protects mothers and children against five potentially deadly diseases, has expired at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), and will be destroyed.
According to reports by the Nation, the vaccine has stayed at the airport for three years as health officials dilly-dallied over clearance.
Since 2017, the officials have been indecisive and failed to pay clearance fees for the drug to be released.
The vaccine prevents infection against haemophilus influenza type B, diptheria, whooping cough, hepatitis B, and tetanus.
“These are lifesaving vaccines that should be treated with urgency once they get into the country but because of bureaucracy by the clearing agency, we have to dispose of 6.1 tonnes of vaccines. Very unfortunate,” Drug Crime and Investigations head at Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) Dennis Otieno said in a letter to Health Director-General Patrick Amoth.
Public hospitals fell short of the vaccine last year, even as the consignment donated by Serum Institute India rotted away at Swissport warehouses.
“The management of Swissport requested for products to be cleared and disposed of since they were occupying space, with no commitment of any action by the consignee,” adds the letter.