ABUJA – The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to address the challenges associated with the storage of drugs and other medical commodities in the country.
Supervising Minister of Health, Dr Khaliru Alhassan, renewed government’s commitment at the foundation stone laying for the construction of three pharmaceutical warehouses in Abuja.
He said the project would be funded by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the U.S. government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Global Fund.
Alhassan said the project would be completed within five months at the cost of 10 million dollars.
“As you are all aware, drugs and other health commodities are special items that require the provision of appropriate storage conditions to ensure and maintain their potency and efficacy.
“However, this has been a challenge for our country.
“Therefore, the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with some agencies and partners decided to address the challenge by executing the project and I wish to state that this project will be a major milestone in our health care delivery efforts,’’ said the minister.
He said the project initiated by previous administrations was designed for implementation in two phases, with the first phase comprising renovation and upgrading of four cluster warehouses in Lagos, completed.
He said the second phase comprising the construction of the Lagos and Abuja pharmaceutical warehouses would complete the comprehensive plan for medical storage facilities across Nigeria.
Khaliru commended the partners in the project for their commitment, stressing that it conformed to the National Strategic Health Development Plan that has almost doubled partnership for health in Nigeria.
According to him, it will enhance the delivery of the ministry’s mandate and ultimately the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan in the health sector.
He said the ministry had so far provided the land worth N1.2 billion, paid the ground rent and building plan approval fee of over N19 million as part of its contribution to the project.
Earlier in her remark, Dr Vera Ogbechie, Director, Food and Drug Services in the ministry, said the upgrade of the facilities was long overdue as the existing ones were built in the 1970s.
She said emerging challenges and trends in Nigeria’s health sector had necessitated the construction of modern facilities and the renovation/upgrade of existing ones.
Ogbechie expressed happiness that the construction of the Abuja medical warehouse would eventually commence 20 years after the project was initiated.
She said the upgrade of medical storage facilities in the country when completed would guarantee the safety, integrity and efficacy of medicines.
In his remark, Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Prof. John Idoko, said the completion of the projects across the country would facilitate drug distribution in Nigeria.