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Introducing “Warehouse In Box”. US govt partners Nigeria on drug warehousing

To enhance accessibility to medicine and other health commodities across the nation, the United States Government and the federal government are collaborating to strengthen Nigeria’s national drug warehousing system.

Both organizations are of the view that Nigeria that the national warehousing infrastructure of the 1960’s cannot adequately cater for and properly accommodate the essential medicines and other health commodities need for the moment.

In furtherance of that desire, both governments, with the support of the Global Fund, have laid the foundation for the construction of a $10million (about N2billion) drugs store in Abuja.

The warehouse, according to officials, is borne out of the need to decentralize the storage system for proximity and accessibility. Among other things, it is expected to enhance quick response during emergencies like epidemic outbreaks.

Speaking at the flag off ceremony in Abuja, Minister of State and Supervising Minister for Health, Dr Khaliru Alhassan, said the structure would enhance drugs storage and supply in the country.

He said the facilities at the Federal Medical Stores, Oshodi had been upgraded to modern pharmaceutical grade warehouses, noting also that the storage capacity of the facility was being increased with the construction of three new Warehouse in Box (WIB).

He stressed: “Furthermore, to enhance accessibility to medicine and other health commodities across the nation, in line with the principle of the essential drug project, the federal ministry of health conceived the idea of building the Abuja Premier Medical Stores about 20 years ago. However, due to several challenges such as land acquisition, policy review and budgetary issues, the project has been on the drawing board till now. On completion, this project, which also consists of three warehouses, would provide a total storage space of 3, 000 square meters. That is, 1,500 pallet spaces: and easily be accessible to the northern axis of the nation.”

Director, Food and Drug Services, Federal Ministry of Health, Vera Ogbechie, said government had planned to build the facility twenty years back but that there were challenges that halted the plan.

Ogbechie said stressed how the structure would enhance accessibility to medicine and other health commodities across the nation.

Her words: “In line with the principle of the Essential Drug Project, the Federal Ministry of Health conceived the idea of building the Abuja Premier Medical Stores about 20 years ago. However, due to several challenges such as land acquisition, policy review and budgetary issues the project has been on the drawing board till now.

“On completion, this project which also consists of three warehouses provides a total storage space of 3000 square meters, that is, 1,500 pallet spaces; and easily be accessible to the northern axis of the nation.

“Presently, the Federal Medical Stores, FMS, Lagos serves as the only central storage hub for health products procured by FMOH, local and international agencies and non-governmental organizations, NGOs, that works in partnership with FMOH.”

Source: Guardian Newspapers

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