Uganda Launches Roadmap to Improve its Health Supply Chain

February 28, 2022

Uganda Launches Roadmap to Improve its Health Supply Chain

On January 20, the Ugandan government unveiled a 10-year plan to strengthen the country’s distribution system—the supply chain—of health commodities, including medicines, vaccines, personal protective equipment for frontline health workers, and other essential supplies. 

The roadmap, which was launched during a ceremony with representatives from ministries, donor organizations, and implementing partners, is part of a larger effort to improve access to and availability of quality medicines and health supplies for all Ugandans through the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Uganda SSCS Activity, implemented by Management Sciences for Health and partners ACODE and Uganda Healthcare Federation, in close collaboration with several government agencies. 

The work builds on the country’s recent efforts in this area and those of the US Government, which has supported activities to improve Uganda’s health care infrastructure for three decades.

Despite recent progress, health facilities in the country continue to experience stock-outs of essential medicines, which limits people’s ability to access quality health services that can save their lives and improve their wellbeing. The COVID-19 pandemic has further strained the country’s supply chain.

The roadmap lays out a strategy for the government to plan, facilitate, finance, and effectively manage the national health supply chain system independent of donor support. Its aim is to enhance adequate staffing, electricity supply, and access to internet connections in all health facilities to enable complete digitization of the national health supply chain system. These measures will increase the visibility of health commodities, real-time availability of stock status, and commodity security and safety, thus eliminating waste and potential loss. 

Hon. Rukia Nakadama, Third Deputy Prime Minister signs the official launch posters
The third Deputy Prime Minister, Rukia Nakaddama, signs the official launch posters. Photo credit: MSH

With improved efficiencies and equitable allocation of funding for essential medicines and health supplies based on health facility needs and workload, the country anticipates saving USD 371 million over 10 years.

The estimated cost to implement the roadmap is USD 5.7 million in the first year and up to USD 7.85 billion over 10 years. The majority of the funds will come from the Ministry of Health and are needed to purchase health commodities. The operational costs, estimated at about USD 45 million over the 10-year period, are expected to be met through integrated planning and budgeting frameworks of the key ministries, departments, and agencies.