Newly constructed medicine stores handed over to the Ministry of Health, Uganda

The US Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Deborah Malac, handed the facilities over to the Ministry of Health, represented by Dr. Charles Olaro, the Director of Clinical Services, at a ceremony at Luwunga Health Centre in Wakiso district.

On Thursday, August 22, 2019, the US Government officially handed over the first 14 of 26 newly constructed, prefabricated medicine storage units to the Ugandan Ministry of Health to help scale up the country’s HIV and AIDS epidemic response.

The facilities will increase storage space for health commodities, including antiretroviral medicines, and will support the roll-out of the test and treat strategy for achieving HIV and AIDS control. The facilities will help ensure that adequate quantities of HIV medicines are available for Ugandans living with HIV.

Dr. Olaro remarked that poor storage of commodities makes it “challenging to implement best practices in medicine management and raises the risk of poor accountability and traceability.” He added that “the newly constructed storage units will foster an environment where patients and their communities have improved access to essential and lifesaving health commodities.”

In her remarks, Ambassador Malac said, “This assistance reflects US Government commitment to support the modernization of the health commodities supply chain in Uganda through various investments within the supply chain system and promotes local ownership.”

With funding by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the US Agency for International Development (USAID) constructed these facilities through the Uganda Health Supply Chain Program, implemented by Management Sciences for Health. PEPFAR provided almost $2.4 million for the expansion of storage facilities at 26 health centers in 22 districts across the country.

This is the latest in a series of US Government efforts, in partnership with the Ugandan Government, to strengthen the health commodities supply chain and improve the health status of Ugandans. This partnership has delivered vital policies, logistics tools, and technologies; supported capacity building around essential medicines and health supplies, and procured and made antiretroviral medicines more available for Ugandans living with HIV.

The Uganda Health Supply Chain Program helps the Ministry of Health improve the health of Ugandans by increasing the availability, affordability, accessibility, and appropriate use of good quality, essential medicines, and health supplies.