The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Linus Awute, has flagged-off the construction of a pharmaceutical warehouse at the Federal Medical Stores, Oshodi, Lagos, for the storage of essential drugs.
At the ground breaking ceremony, Awute said the warehouse will store essential medicines and health products, stressing that it would serve as the only central storage hub for health products procured by the ministry, local, international organisations and NGOs working in partnership with the ministry.
He noted that the partnership was in tune with the National Strategic Health Development Plan (2010-2015), emphasizing that the project will enhance the delivery of the ministry’s mandate and improve healthcare.
Awute, who appreciated the joint efforts of the United States government, the Global Fund, Clinton Foundation, UNFPA and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, noted that the partners have been offering valuable support to the ministry and that the projects would be executed in two phases.
He said the first phase will involve the renovation and upgrading of four cluster warehouses at the Federal Medical Store, Oshodi. This project, he explained, was completed and delivered in 2013. The second phase will be the construction of six standard pharmaceutical warehouses, three in Lagos and the Premier Medical Store, Abuja.
The Director, Department of Food and Drugs Services, Pharm. Gloria Chukwumah, said medicines need to be kept properly in order to maintain quality and efficacy.
Acting U.S. Consul-General, Mrs. Dehab Ghebread, decried that Nigeria with a population of about 170 million is still confronted with challenges in the storage and distribution of healthy drugs.
“The challenge for governments in Nigeria is to have reliable and quality drugs across the 36 states and it was in recognition of this fact that the facility was built.”
Ghebread disclosed that the facility was built in partnership with the federal government, states and the private sector, adding that the prefabricated building will also take into consideration the climatic system and logistics,’’ she said.