It has emerged about 6.1 tonnes of life-saving vaccines have expired at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport due to bureaucracy.

The vaccines which are set for disposal arrived at the airport in 2017 but clearance hurdles have led to the expiry. 

 The disposal of the vaccines has been confirmed by Health Director-General Patrick Amoth. 

The vaccines are reportedly meant for immunization against Haemophilus influenza type B, Diptheria, whooping cough, hepatitis B, tetanus, and other ailments.

 The destruction has also been confirmed by Drug Crime and Investigations head at PPB Dennis Otieno in a confidential letter. 

 “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,” said Otieno.

The vaccines were donated by the Serum Institute India with the country experiencing a shortage of the Tetanus vaccine last year. 

The vaccines arrived at the Swissport which wrote to the Health Ministry regarding the expiration. 

“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,” the letter reads.

The Swissport board then requested the ministry to clear and organize the disposal of the vaccine.

“The purpose of this letter is to consider expediting the collection of the consignment and facilitating safe disposal of the same in line with the PPB for safe management of pharmaceutical wastes,” the letter says.

Through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi), such drugs are donated to the world’s poorest countries to protect children from diseases.