The Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr Diana Atwine has this Monday afternoon toured the new National Medical Stores’ state-of-the-art pharmaceuticals warehouse in Kajjansi off Entebbe road.
“We inspected the construction site for the new Medicines and Vaccines Warehouse that will also house offices for NMS in Kajjansi,” said Dr Atwine.
She said the facility is expected to be completed and operational by end of June this year.
NMS’ mandate is to procure, warehouse and distribute essential medicines and medical supplies, primarily to Government health facilities.
The warehouse is expected to increase bulk store capacity area from the current 8,000 pallet locations in the existing premises, to a minimum of 30,000 pallet locations.
The facility will also increase cold chain capacity to a maximum net storage volume of 2,500m3 purpose built as a Drive-in cold room (DICR).
“One of our main objectives is to consolidate, centralize and operate NMS services and infrastructure in one modern, purpose built and efficient building, with a minimum sixty- year lifespan, on the specified site,” said NMS General Manager Moses Kamabare at a recent event.
The facility will as well have a medical gas plant.
“We now want to secure the future of oxygen in Uganda with a new plant capable of producing 100 cylinders per day,” he added.
Kamabare said the gas will be supplied mainly to public hospitals across Uganda but private facilities will be considered too.
Medicine availability across the country currently stands at 85 percent with a target of reaching 90 percent within the next 1-2 years.
NMS recently hired clerks to follow up on drugs from the districts up to the rural health facilities under what is known as the last mile delivery model.
In the year 2017/2018, NMS achieved higher than target score of 90 percent stock availability for Essential Medicines and 86 percent for Tracer items against a target of 75 percent set by Ministry of Health.