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UPDF receives major boost as US envoy hands over Medical stores

Director of Clinical Services at Ministry of Health, Dr Charles Olaro receives the keys to 14 completed prefabricated storage units from US Ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac on Thursday at Kakiri, Wakiso district. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

WAKISO – The Ambassador of the United States of America to Uganda Her Excellence Deborah Malac, on Thursday, August 22, 2019, handed over the prefabricated medicine stores to the UPDF one infantry Division headquarters at Kakiri, Wakiso district.

In a colourful ceremony, spiced by the UPDF brass band, keys to 13 other stores were handed over to Chief Administration Officers of the respective benefiting districts.

In her remarks, Ms. Malac intimated that “the assistance reflects USA government’s commitment to support the modernisation of the health commodities supply chain in Uganda, through various investments within the supply chain system and promotes local ownership”.

The facilities are expected to increase storage space for health commodities including antiretroviral medicines and support the rollout of the tests and treats strategy for achieving HIV/AIDs control by ensuring that Ugandans living with HIV can receive their medicines and be dispensed in adequate quantities.

Although the store facilities come under the HIV/AIDS program, they are spacious enough to accommodate all medicines for the benefiting facilities.

The Chief of Staff Land Forces Brig Leopold Kyanda, in a speech read for him by Brig. Kusasiira, thanked the USA government for the unconditional support they have rendered to Uganda especially the UPDF. He mentioned the remodelled HIV clinic at Kakiri as an immediate example of the aid. He told the large gathering that USA has always been a strategic ally of the UPDF and called for the strengthening of the already existing symbiotic relationship between the two countries. He assured the ambassador that UPDF will put to effective use of the facility given.

The Division Commander Maj Gen. Samuel Kawagga also thanked the USA embassy for the support that has always been rendered especially in the health sector. He reported that although the facility has been built for UPDF, it will serve all other Ugandans like it has always done. “we are Jeshi la wannaichi” – meaning, people’s army. That is our ideology. That’s why you find that 85% of the people using our facilities like; the health centre, school, water etc. are civilians and we are proud of that.

Some of the UPDF officers at the function on Thursday (PHOTO/Courtesy)

The USAID chief of party, Stephanie Xueref, said that they were honoured to hand over an important legacy, including national and district level staff whose capacity has been built in a new construction technology, working and guiding documents, and the stores themselves. She called upon the facility in charge and store managers to leverage the opportunity to enhance medicine management at their facilities and be a leading example as to what can be achieved with adequate medical stores.

The occasion was also attended by Dr. Charles Olaro the acting Director General Of Health Service of Ministry of Health and 14 chief administrative officers from the benefiting districts.

USAID through MSH built 26 stores in 22 districts and the 14 handed over were completed and the remaining 12 are expected to be completed and handed over by late September.

The stores were built as a result of a physical assessment of public health facilities carried out in 2013, which indicated that 15% of the health facilities did not have adequate drug space. To address the issue, the USA government through its implementing agency USAID, mandated MSH to undertake the construction of 26 medicine stores in selected public health facilities in 22 districts.

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