The United States Government has donated 156 Yamaha and Honda motorcycles and 248 ThinkPad laptops to the Ministry of Health to facilliate Handing over the items to the Minister of Health, Ruth Aceng, US Ambassador, Deborah Malac, called it a “single spirit to Uganda’s frontline healthcare providers.”
She added: “Over the years our Government has been a key partner in supporting the modernization of health-commodities supply chain in Uganda.
Since 2009, we have made several investments in the supply chain system at both national and sub- national levels. All of this assistance is aimed at ensuring that the people of Uganda get the drugs and laboratory supplies they need in a fast and efficient manner.”
Aceng expressed Uganda’s gratitude for the donations. “Your inputs to Uganda’s health sector, particularly through interventions in the areas of HIV/AIDS response and health-commodities supply chains strengthening, have yielded visible results at all levels where a big number of our health stores fitted are now with decent shelves, improved inventory management and improved supervision.
“We have also noted that wherever there is medicine management, our supervisors are well supported and we have realized good results in supervision, performance, recognition strategy [SPARS] scores; and the NDA [National Drug Authority] accreditation of the facilities reflect improvements towards compliance to good pharmacy practices in the public facilities”
Aceng said that investing on logistics and infrastructure for MMS work is imperative to realize the objective of providing universal health care to the most needy and vulnerable population. She said that the US support is a logical move that provides the much-needed synergy in the health. It ensures that investments on medicines and health supplies do not go waste.
The Chief of Party USAID/ United States Agency for International Development/ Uganda Health Supply Chain (USAID/ UHSC), Dr. Brina Trap, said that through SPARS, Uganda now has a powerful pharmaceutical information portal, “a system that stakeholders at all levels can use to better manage medicines and health supplies, track progress and detect problems.”
At the district level, the District Health Officers (DHOs) are using the pharmaceutical information portal in tracking district medicine management performance to prioritize follow-up of facilities that are performing poorly. So the motorbikes give the logistics to cater for this.
“Sustaining the interventions will require the concerted efforts of the ministry, donors and implementing partners so that these equipments go a long way in helping the health sector especially at the district level, to improve performance. Our major concern now is the increasingly and prominent need for a full-time medicine management official at district level to cope with both technical and technology needs in supply chain management,” Trapp said.
Dr. Susan Ndidde Nabadda, the head of Uganda National Health Laboratory Services (UNHLS) also appreciated the US Government for the generous support it has stood with them. “Transportation of samples and results is a key element in lab hub system and riding gear to perform their duties efficiently.
“For that matter I thank the US Government and the people of America for their generous support of the motorbikes and riding gear which and they are going to use to add support to the lab hub system in its viral load-monitoring programme,” Nabadda added.