By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
The Joint Medical Store (JMS) has entered a five-year deal with USAID Uganda to procure and supply anti-retroviral drugs and other HIV commodities worth shs28 billion.
The project aims at ensuring efficient and timely procurement of HIV commodities funded by USAID for the Private Not for Profit (PNFP) sector through JMS and Medical Access Uganda Limited (MAUL) .
On Tuesday, the first consignment containing 298,000 packets of TLD 90 pack and 142,000 packets of ALD 30 pack worth about eight million dollars was handed over to USAID that in turn handed it over to the Ministry of Health.
Speaking at the function, the JMS Executive Director, Dr.Bildard Baguma reiterated their commitment to ensure efficient implementation of the project.
“We will do our best to ensure that delivery of these commodities is done in line with the commitments we have made for on-time and in-full delivery. Indeed, the delivery of this first consignment has been in line with these commitments,”Baguma said.
He said the partnership is a testimony of the trust that Joint Medical Store has built as a key player in the health sector in Uganda.
“JMS is now 42 years as a non-profit entity that was founded by the Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau and Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau to serve as the Supply chain logistics arm for the private not for profit health sector. Over the years, we have grown to serve as an alternate warehouse and distribution arm for the health sector,” he said.
“We strongly believe that the direction that USAID has taken for self-reliance is the right direction and we will do our best to continue to strengthen your belief that this direction is indeed feasible and will work.”
The USAID Mission Director, Richard L. Nelson said they will continue partnering with various countries in Sub-Saharan Africa on such projects that benefit the local population.
“USAID is focused on working with sub-Saharan countries in Africa to rapidly prepare local organizations and government entities to serve as prime partners for USAID and U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programming, including strengthening their capabilities and resources to address HIV within their populations,” he said.
The State Minister for Health in charge of General Duties to Hanifa Kawooya underscored the role played by the private not-for-profit sector in providing health services in the country.
“Government appreciates the role of the private not for profit health facilities especially the long-term partnership that government has had with the Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau and the Uganda Catholic Medical bureau and by extension with JMS with whom my Ministry has a Memorandum of understanding to support procurement, warehousing and distribution of health commodities,” Minister Kawooya said.
She however urged Joint Medical Store to execute the five-year project well so as to build the confidence of development partners on the road to self-reliance.