President Museveni on Thursday November 3, commissioned the new National Medical Stores pharmaceutical warehouse and office complex in Kajjansi, off Entebbe Road.
President Museveni said the complex would solve some of the challenges faced by the health sector.
“Now that the facility is here with an improved procurement, warehousing, and delivery monitoring system in place, let us solve the last mile benefit for the needs of our people, the region & Africa,” the President said also congratulating the the Ministry of health and NMS for constructing “this good warehouse.”
“This achievement places Africa a step further in the pursuit of meaningful contributions to the global pathogenic economy. We are determined to get out of dependency on the issue of drugs and vaccines, we, therefore, intend to make them here,” Mr. Museveni added.
He suggested that emphasis need to shift to public health awareness campaigns to stop many of the preventable diseases from attacking the people —also reasoning that the shift would deliver a robust and cost-effective Health system.
President Museveni however castigated the theft of government drugs in hospitals by government officials which he said should be dealt with as it deprives the people of Uganda their rights to access drugs in hospitals.
He asked the NMS to launch tighter controls on medicine distribution mechanism, a development he said would close loopholes that he thinks have been supporting leakages in the value chain.
Mr. Museveni saluted the development partners for the support in the building of NMS storage facility.
“I thank all the development partners who came on board with the Government of Uganda to accomplish this work,” he said.
NMS is a government agency mandated to procure, store and distribute medicines and medical supplies to government owned health facilities.
Dr Jane Ruth Aceng Acero, the Minister of Health, said that the NMS storage complex is a demonstration that the government of Uganda is committed to improving medical supplies in the country.
Dr. Aceng commended the President for his continued support to the health sector.
She said the Kajjansi-based facility has a storage capacity of over 30,000 pallet storage locations of warehouse space, a 3 fold increase of the current capacity.
The US Ambassador, Natalie Brown, commended the government of Uganda for the commitment in improving the health services in the country.
Ambassador Brown noted that the completion of the new complex is a big milestone in the health sector.
GAVI CEO, Dr. Seth Berkeley underscored the power of partnership saying that working as partners will be a great deal in achieving desired goals.
The Chairman Board of directors NMS, Dr. Nathan Mucunguzi said that over the years the Mandate, and volume of Essential Medicines and Health Supplies, handled by National Medical Stores has increased resulting in the need to expand storage capacity at the central level to manage the growing supply chain demands, hence the Construction of this new warehouse.
National Medical Stores undertook construction works of a modern pharmaceutical warehouse and office complex at Kajjansi site at a cost of around 69 billion Uganda Shillings.
The new NMS pharmaceutical warehouse is also a green building with installation of energy-efficient solutions like the use of solar energy to run the building and natural light instead of artificial power-consuming bulbs.