By Aliyu Dangida
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in partnership with the Nigerian Federal Government has launched a project to modernize medical warehouses in 21 states across Nigeria at a cost of N26 billion.
The health specialist UNICEF field office Kano, Katsina, and Jigawa, Dr. Saudat Bishir disclosed this in Katsina State to kickstart the construction of the pharma-grade ultramodern warehouse.
The states set to benefit from this initiative are to contribute includes Katsina, Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Niger, Gombe, Plateau, and Yobe. Others are: Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Lagos as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Dr Saudat explained that the project has the potential to significantly benefit the entire population of Katsina, with a particular focus on women and children. She stressed that the state-of-the-art facility would be responsible for managing modern medicines, ensuring their quality assurance, and setting new benchmarks in healthcare warehousing.
According to her the upgrade of the Katsina medical warehouse to pharma-grade status which is expected to be completed in December 2023, is estimated to gulp about N900 million and the state government is to pay 15 percent as counterpart funding.
The Katsina State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Bashir Gambo Saulawa while commending UNICEF and partners for the gesture, he emphasised that the upgrade would enable the storage of various medicines while implementing robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
Saulawa also noted that the development would revolutionise healthcare warehousing and enhance the availability of essential drugs in the state considering it’s capacity to handle high volumes of medicines.
The Health Commissioner also highlighted that the ultramodern medical warehouse is computerized and digitized, allowing for easy identification of available medicines, quantities, expiry dates, and inventory at the press of a button.
Lourdes Valencia, the Project Construction Manager overseeing all 22 states, expressed optimism about the project’s timeline and eagerly anticipates the inauguration of the warehouses.