By Prossy Namiiro
The Government of Uganda has launched a 10-Year National Health Supply Chain Roadmap today to ensure sustainability of development outcomes invested in the health sector over time by the development partners. Targeted improvements are towards sustained availability of essential medicines and health supplies to all Ugandans wherever and whenever needed all the time.
The roadmap was developed with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the USAID-funded Uganda Strengthening Supply Chain Systems (SSCS) Activity implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and partners; Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE), and Uganda Healthcare Federation (UHF) in close collaboration with several government agencies. It serves as a guide to sustained incremental ownership, stewardship, and financing of the national health supply chain system by the Government of Uganda.
An efficient health supply chain is the backbone that supports effective operations of functional health systems. The roadmap lays out a blueprint for the government to plan, facilitate, finance and effectively manage the national health supply chain system independent of donor support as we move towards a middle-income status.
The supply chain roadmap comprises of eight themes; (1) Health Commodities Supply Chain Management (2) Health Supply Chain Information Systems (3) Human Resources for Health Supply Chain (4) Health Commodities Infrastructure, Warehousing, Storage, and Distribution (5) Quality Assurance and Waste Management for Health Commodities (6) Public-Private Partnerships for Health Supply Chain (7) Health Supply Chain Resources Mobilization and financing (8) Health Supply Chain Policy and Governance.
In her remarks, the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja said, “Through this roadmap, the government will strategically take on interventions that bring the country closer to its vision of self-reliance consistent with the Uganda Vision 2040. The Office of the Prime Minister will coordinate the roadmap implementation across various ministries, departments and agencies while working closely with the National Planning Authority through the third National Development Plan (NDP-III).
This arrangement will realize the roadmap’s aspiration of a ‘One Government approach’”.
The roadmap will enhance adequate supply chain specialist staffing, electricity supply and access to internet connection to all health facilities in the country to enable complete digitization of the national health supply chain system. This will increase visibility of national health commodities and supplies, real-time availability of stock status in the national system, increased commodity security and safety thus eliminating wastage and potential loss.
The Mission Director USAID/Uganda, Mr. Richard Nelson said, “The United States Government is committed to strengthening Uganda’s pharmaceutical supply chain. We are thrilled to see the launch of a 10-year roadmap that will ultimately increase access to medicines for all Ugandans and thus contribute to a healthier society.”
The roadmap development process was both collaborative and consultative in nature involving various ministries, departments, and agencies led by the national health supply chain inter-ministerial task force (IMTF).
The task force consists of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Local Government, relevant government agencies the National Medical Stores and the Joint Medical Stores, and development partners.
The estimated budget to support this roadmap is approximately USD $5,701 million within the first year with an incremental requirement of up to USD $ 44.8 million over 10 years.