“Before now some of these public health commodities were stored in warehouses outside the State because Delta State didn’t have enough space to store both the essential drugs that were distributed to our health care facilities and the public health drugs that are donated free to the State by Global Fund and some other donors”
By Donald Ojebo
In line with international best practices for the improvement of healthcare services for Deltans and residents alike, the State Government has approved a partnership deal with donor Agencies with the view to improving the quality of drugs brought into the State.
The Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joseph Onojame made this known in Asaba during the official handover of the State Revolving Fund warehouse to Global Fund contracted firm for upgrade.
According to the Commissioner, “this project was initiated in response to the Global Fund request to curb the outrageous high costs of delivery of free commodities and medicines of the public health programmes, to have storage facilities of global standard, to maintain the integrity of such products and to have a delivery system that will be resilient and sustainable”.
The Commissioner disclosed that the upgrade which is called ‘PharmaGrades standard’ is a warehouse standard of warehousing drugs that ensures that there is adequate storage space for the products being accommodated, the storage conditions are favorable for the stored products, ensure that the products are not damaged physically, and that they do not deteriorate chemically.
“Before now some of these public health commodities were stored in warehouses outside the State because Delta State didn’t have enough space to store both the essential drugs that were distributed to our health care facilities and the public health drugs that are donated free to the State by Global Fund and some other donors” the Commissioner disclosed.
To implement this Grant in Delta State, the Commissioner named partners that will manage and coordinate the warehouse upgrade to include; UNICEF, the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Management Programme, and the National Product Supply Chain Management Programme of the Food and Drugs Department of the Federal Ministry of Health.
The project which is expected to be completed on or before the 31st of December, 2023 will be funded by Global Fund to the tune of N545, 951,120.00, while the State Government is expected to provide N81, 000,895.00 as counterpart fund which is about 15% of what Global Fund is bringing in.
Earlier, Mr. Victor Odion of G2 Synergy Limited expressed joy that Delta State was able to meet the deadline to be part of the four pilots States to benefit from this grant and also first of the four to conduct the official handover.
He stated that the project when completed would be much bigger than what was on ground now, which was going to be a story building as against the bungalow that was existing before now.
Present at the event were the Permanent Secretaries, Ministry of Health and Drug Revolving Fund, Dr. (Mrs.) Philomena Okeowo and Pharm. (Mrs.) Ifeoma Ndobu respectively, Directors in the Ministry of Health and Drug Revolving Fund, representatives of UNICEF, and contracting firm among others.