The National Medical Stores (NMS) has received two pickup trucks from the Ministry of Health to support vaccine distribution supervision and cold chain maintenance in the country.
“We thank God and the stakeholders who appreciate our work,” said NMS General Manager Moses Kamabare at the Ministry’s headquarters in Kampala this Tuesday.
NMS’ mandate is to procure, store and distribute Essential Medicines and Medical Supplies (EMHS) to Public Health Facilities.
Earlier this year, the institution started piloting the use of an automated system for ordering drug supplies by public health facilities across Uganda.
Previously, health facilities would make orders via email or phone calls or manually.
However, with the introduction of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, medical facilities can use the centralized system to order and confirm receipt of drugs.
The ERP system is eliminating manual submission of procurement plans, processing of orders from health facilities to ensure proof of delivery of items from NMS.
The project is currently being piloted in (Entebbe Referral Hospital, Butabika National Referral Hospital, Mukono General Hospital, Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, Nakasongola Military General Hospital, Buwambo Health Centre IV and Mubende Regional Referral Hospital).
Upon full operationalization of ERP, NMS will have the capacity to trace the medical supplies to the final user (patients and other healthcare clients) through individual identification using the national identification number (NIN) that will be captured into the ERP system.
This will provide end user data that will then be reconciled with procurement and distribution data to ensure that there is no leakage in the supply chain.
It will also provide much needed information for better quantification of medicines and related health supplies.
Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr Diana Atwine recently said NMS would later this year open its fully automated pharmaceutical warehouse in Kajjansi off Entebbe road.
The spacious warehouse in Kajjansi will allow vehicles drive in to pick and drop medicines which is not the case at the stores in Entebbe.
The cold rooms which store sensitive medical supplies such as vaccines and laboratory commodities will have their storage capacity increased five-fold at the new structure.
NMS has been distributing COVID-19 vaccines across the country.