The National Medical Stores warehouse was commissioned by President Museveni on November 3 at Kajjansi on the outskirts of Kampala.
Speaking at the event President Museveni underscored the need to bolster local manufacturing of medicine and vaccines as a cost-effective way of handling Uganda’s health system.
“Our main focus should be on manufacturing these medicines and vaccines and focusing on pubic health, [in order] to stop many of these preventable diseases from attacking our people,” he said.
The President used the platform to castigate the theft of government drugs from hospitals and highlighted the need to deal with the issue because it deprives the people of Uganda their right to access drugs in hospitals.
The commissioning was also attended by Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, US ambassador to Uganda, Natalie Brown, Global Alliance for Vaccines Initiative (GAVI) CEO Seth Berkley and a range of other high-profile health sector stakeholders.
The Health minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng noted that the new warehouse is a demonstration that government of Uganda is committed to improving medical supplies in the country and she appreciated the President for his support to the health sector.
Speaking at the commissioning, the NMS board chairman, Dr Jotham Mucunguzi stated that over the years, the mandate and volume of essential medicines and health supplies handled by the National Medical Stores has increased. Consequently, this led to the construction of the new warehouse as a response to the need for expanded storage space at the central level in order to manage the growing supply chain demands.
Constructed with support from Government of Uganda, The Global Fund and GAVI, the storage facility also has large drive-in cold rooms, freezer rooms, a work shop, a resource centre and a nursery where babies can be cared for during work hours.
The warehouse also has an oxygen plant with production capacity of over 100 cylinders per day.
The new facility is poised to improve storage capacity with additional 30,000 pallet locations of warehouse space, which is more than triples the current storage capacity at NMS headquarters in Entebbe.
It is also a green-friendly building with installation of energy-efficient solutions that enable the use of solar energy to power the building together with natural light.