THE Bono East Regional Minister, Kwasi Adu-Gyan, has inaugurated the refurbished Bono East Regional Medical Store to improve the medical supply chain and health outcomes in the region.
The upgraded 13-room facility, which had been abandoned for more than 10 years, now has a quarantine zone, administration rooms and offices for store managers, accounts and Regional Supply Manager.
The facility, which used to serve as the erstwhile Brong Ahafo Regional Medical Store, was abandoned after the then regional medical store was moved to Sunyani.
The refurbishment was financed by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and comes with measures to inculcate best warehouse practices.The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) also procured some logistics, including laptops, to enhance its operations.
The new regional medical store is expected to house a wide range of medicines and equipment and serve as a nerve centre for the distribution of supplies to all health facilities in the region.Until the inauguration of the medical store, the region — with about 372 health facilities — relied on the Bono Regional Medical Store in Sunyani, where it competed with the Bono and the Ahafo regions for medicines and health commodities.The situation, according to the directorate, impeded the supply of medicines and other medical tools and equipment.
At a ceremony to inaugurate the facility last Friday, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said regional medical stores across the country were in huge indebtedness.
He explained that the indebtedness of the facilities was a big challenge affecting the supply chain across the system.
“The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIS) owes service delivery points; these service points also owe the regional medical stores, the regional medical stores owe the private sector and their suppliers,” he said.He explained that the challenge had affected procurement processes, leading to shortages of essential medicines across the country’s health facilities.
He, however, gave an assurance that appropriate steps and mechanisms had been taken to address the challenges to ensure smooth delivery.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said it was crucial that medicines and other medical commodities were decentralised to bring the services closer to the people.
He expressed the need to stock the facility with appropriate medical apparatus to make the facility more efficient, adding that the medical supply chain was an important sector needed for the attainment of the universal health coverage.
He said the facility, in addition to the Bono Regional Medical Store, would to increase storage capacity when there was a high demand of medicines in the areas.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye urged the directorate to put in place systems that would promote efficient use of the new facility, ensure accountability and payment for commodities procured in order to ensure its sustainability and growth.
He also appealed to development partners to consider supporting the rest of the newly created regions to renovate similar facilities to serve them.
Mr Adu-Gyan said the inauguration of the warehouse was proof of the government’s commitment to ensure that every resident had access to quality and affordable healthcare services.
He said it was the target of the government to ensure that citizens were able to access adequate quality medical supplies and equipment, no matter where they lived or what their income levels were.
He urged district health directorates and hospitals in the region to fully patronise services of the new store to make it one of the best performing regional medical stores in the country.
The Bono East Regional Director of Health Service, Fred Adomako-Boateng, said the partners had also built the capacity of key officials in logistics and management.
He explained that the compilation of primary consumption data was a challenge, but that the directorate was poised to have an up-to-date primary consumption data acceptable for logistics management every quarter.
Dr Adomako-Boateng explained that the directorate required GH¢4.46 million to purchase non-medicines and stationery, and a further GH¢15.11 million to purchase medicines to stock the facility this year.
He called for support from the GHS and other partners to make the directorate efficient, and commended the partners for supporting the directorate to refurbish the facility.