Repositioning Warehousing For Optimal Performance In Nigeria


*Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole inspects the Warehouse in a box Jabi, Abuja (July, 2016)

Over the years, health commodity storage has been plagued by a number of over-arching vices ranging from inadequate infrastructure, lack of proper storage conditions, staff attrition, product pilferage, expiries, wastages and inordinate drug distribution system chief among others.

With the mindset the world over geared towards international warehousing best practices, Nigeria has not been left behind with the Federal Ministry of Health championing an integrated solution through the National Product Supply Chain Management Programme of the Food & Drugs Department of the Ministry.

This intervention is done in collaboration with international Donors like the United Nations Populations Funds (UNFPA) Global Fund and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It entails consolidating and storing commodities from national public Health disease programs with the Global Fund specifically focusing on areas like that of HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis & Leprosy, Malaria, Reproductive Health and Vaccines through the Nigeria Supply Chain Integrated Project (NSCIP) that has a scope period of three years of implementation.

The first phase involves the renovation and rehabilitation of select warehouses across the federation which was summarily concluded in 2014. The second phase as seen the project design a national warehouse template for selected disease areas and includes six (6) zonal storage hubs with their selection based on geographic/political spread, disease prevalence and strategic proximity to serve surrounding states.

The USAID with assistance of the Nigerian Government and other international Donors have identified Lagos and Abuja as locations to situate and assemble standard Pharmaceutical Grade Warehouses (‘Warehouse in a Box’) to complement and support existing storage structures in the country.  The Lagos warehouse situated in the same premise with the Federal Central Medical Stores will be ready for use in 2017 while the Abuja hub located in Jabi has been completed. These warehouses have a standard large capacity to accommodate commodities from public health programmes and even have specialized cold storage for vaccines and some reproductive health products.

Minister of Health & Chairman of the National Warehousing Advisory Committee (NWAC); Prof. Isaac Adewole who was on ground to inspect the magnificent Premier Medical Ware House, Abuja (as shown in lead photo above) informed that the structure will go a long way in improving drug storage in country and also act as a veritable platform in standardizing warehouse practice away from the norm with operations geared with the mindset of a business model.

To sustain this intervention, Department of Food & Drugs under the leadership of Pharm. (Mrs.) G.M.O Chukwumah; through the Nigeria Supply Chain Integration Project have started and in most cases, completed intense work in key areas with efforts centered around these facilities sustained by a business model.

These interventions are geared towards ensuring a robust/integrated national drugs storage system alongside a harmoniously efficient distribution network that gets commodities to Nigerians at health facilities in all parts of the country.

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