Nordic MPs commend NMS on Global funds

By Nelson Kiva

The MPs from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden are in Uganda to establish how monies they give to Uganda are utilised.

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KAMPALA - The Members of Parliament (MPs) from Nordic countries have commended the National Medical Stores (NMS) for effective utilisation of Global Funds.

The MPs from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden are in Uganda to establish how monies they give to Uganda through the Global Alliance for Vaccines (GAVI) and Global Fund are utilised.

The MPs shortly after engaging the ministry of health officials led by the health minister, Jane Ruth Aceng, in Kampala, visited the new pharmaceutical warehouse being constructed by the NMS at Kajjansi in Wakiso district a long Kampala-Entebbe Road.

Over 90% contribution of about sh70b money planned for the project, have been provided by the Global Fund.

According to the NMS general manager, Moses Kamabare, the warehouse which is four times bigger than their current one in Entebbe, will be completed by June.

Kamabare said the ultra-modern pharmaceutical warehouse, will increase its storage capacity.

On completion, the warehouse will have a storage capacity of 30,000 pallets, which is more than double the capacity of the Entebbe warehouse, which is 12,980 pallets.

"The facility, on top of being a store for drugs, it will also accommodate offices and a training centre for medical logistics for Uganda and regional countries," he said.

The warehouse will have facilities such as a vaccines' workshop, quality control laboratory, and offices for more than 300 staff, cold storage rooms, garage and 30,000 pallet locations of space among others.

It will also have a 300kva solar power plant able to provide 50% of the electricity needs by the warehouse complex.

"We are constructing a world-class warehouse that will make Ugandans delighted and will remain an essential part of the medicines supply chain for generations to come," Kamabare said.

"With this facility, we will be able to secure medicines in adequate quantities and store them for distribution in a timely way," Kamabare said.

The delegation also visited the old warehouse located at Entebbe before they engaged NMS officials in a short meeting.

The head of the delegation, Björn Söder, a Swedish Democrats politician and a member of the Riksdag for Stockholm County, who led the delegation commended NMS for utilising the funds well.

He disclosed that the Nordic countries provide about $4b to Uganda through programmes such as GAVI, Global Fund, and the United Nations Children's Fund.

We are here to find out, how this money is performing and possibly go back and mobilise more funding. The delegation also toured CoRSU rehabilitation hospital located at Kisubi in Wakiso district.

Davide Naggi, the chief executive officer, told the delegation that CoRSU, a specialized surgical hospital, focuses on the surgical correction and rehabilitation of orthopedic problems which account for over 50% of the patients served.

He called for partnership that will see more children with physical impairments benefit.

Additional reporting by Priscilla Atwiine