Nutritional Supplies Integrated into the National Supply System of Essential Medicines and Health Supplies Pilot Project for West Nile Region.
The Ministry of Health with support from partners in the Health sector have initiated a process of integrating nutritional health supplies into the national essential medicines and health supply system at the National Medical Stores(NMS) to foster efficiency in the procurement, storage and distribution of nutritional supplements in the health country.
The medicines that have been procured and distributed with support from partners include therapeutic food for the management of Acute Malnutrition, micronutrients to manage micronutrient deficiencies and de-wormers.
Although some of this supplies have been partially integrated and are being procured and distributed by NMS, treatment supplies for management of Severe Acute Malnutrition SAM) are completely being procured and distributed by partners with no budget line in NMS.
“The Health Ministry acknowledges that its very crucial that all essential commodities used in the treatment of SAM are in sufficient quantities in the health facilities. Integration of these supplies into NMS system where commodities will be delivered up to the health facilities is seen as a step towards improving access to nutritional supplies for clients in need”, said, Dr Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health.
She added, “To that effect, the MOH embarked on the integration of SAM nutritional supplies into the NMS system and has reached a critical stage where supplies are ready to be handed over to NMS to begin a pilot in seven Districts in West Nile”.
The Districts include Adjumani, Arua, Koboko,Moyo, Madi-Okolo,Obongi and Yumbe. The Pilot project is being supported by the USAID and UNICEF.
"Today is a very special occasion and a key milestone in a longer journey, which started back in 2017 with an assessment of nutrition supply chain, and then followed by the development of nutrition supply chain integration road map”, said Dr Viorica Berdaga, Chief of Child Survival and Development at UNICEF Uganda, during the launch of the pilot phase of the Nutrition Supply Integration Pilot Study at National Medical Stores Entebbe recently.
For several years, UNICEF has been closely working with the Ministry of Health, National Medical Stores, and other nutrition partners to harmonize and integrate nutrition commodities into the governmental supply chain system.
“UNICEF remains committed to working closely with the Ministry of Health, National Medical Stores, sister UN agencies, development partners, civil society, private sector and all individuals to end preventable maternal and child mortality and to promote better health and nutrition for the children and general population of Uganda! ",Dr Berdaga said