New health ministry system to aid efficient drug sharing

The Ministry of Health now has a new warehouse which is expected to strengthen its capacity for more effective drug distribution and ensure more accountability in its material management system, according to a release from the Government Information Agency (GINA).Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy on Monday launched the new warehouse operations and management system through the Ministry’s Materials Management Unit at Farm, East Bank Demerara.

“The health sector will not be able to deliver the services which it has been mandated unless there is a system in place to ensure that each health facility across Guyana is able to provide drugs in a timely manner to those who need it, and ever so often we underestimate the need for proper management of our resources,” said Minister Ramsammy, according to the GINA release. Previously, the Materials Management Unit (MMU) of the Ministry of Health operated on a traditional paper-based manual stock control system. In recognition that there is the need for more rapid distribution of essential medicines and a comprehensive audit trail which will include lot numbers and expiry dates of drugs, the Ministry and Supply Chain Management System (SCSM) signed a Memorandum of Under-standing (MOU) to support and strengthen the management of available health resources in Guyana.

The two entities, the release said, reviewed the status of warehousing and distribution in Guyana and have developed plans to assist the MMU at Kingston and at Farm with operational and process changes. These plans were implemented in December 2006 and resulted in improved stock accuracy, reduced wastage through better visibility and management of expiry date and also provided reliable and accurate data for reporting to the relevant authorities. Monday’s launching, the release stated, was made possible through collaborative efforts by the Ministry of Health and several donor agencies including the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Global Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank and the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO).

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