National Medical Stores (NMS) is set to unveil to the public the sprawling Shs 70bn ultra-modern pharmaceutical warehouse in Kajjansi, off Entebbe Road.
The project funded by Global Fund and Uganda government to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, sits on a 10-acre piece of land.
NMS boss Moses Kamabare told ChimpReports that the massive building will be commissioned before close of 2020.
“This will be Africa’s largest pharmaceutical warehouse when completed,” said Kamabare while leading board members of the Uganda Country Coordinating Mechanism (UCCM) of the Global Fund.
“This is a green warehouse. No air conditioning. We’ll have fresh air. 50% of the power needed to power our operations will come from solar panels,” he emphasised.
The roof of the imposing structure boasts about 200 solar panels which officials say will generate 0.3 megawatts of electricity.
This will lead to a reduction in power bills.
NMS management is contemplating increasing the number of solar panels to generate more power and if possible sell surplus electricity.
The building boasts an extensive room for cafeteria, permanent dedicated space for breastfeeding employees, gym and office space for 200 staff.
“We also have a gym for our staff to keep fit because we work for long hours,” said Kamabare.
The structure will see NMS’ pallet storage capacity grow to 30,000 from the current 7,000.
An oxygen plant will be situated at the new facility to support referral hospitals and possibly private medical facilities which usually run out of supply.
“Oxygen is medicine. Medical facilities should not be competing with car garages for oxygen,” said Kamabare.
The spacious warehouse in Kajjansi will allow vehicles drive in to pick and drop medicines which is not the case at the stores in Entebbe.
The cold rooms which store sensitive medical supplies such as vaccines and laboratory commodities will have their storage capacity increased five-fold at the new structure.
To reduce the costs of servicing transport vehicles, space has been created for an in-house service centre.
“This will help us save billions of shillings in maintenance of our vehicles. Small things should not be addressed from outside,” said the NMS honcho.
Officials said a bio degradable sewage system is being put in place to treat wastewater hence reducing NMS’ carbon footprint, save energy and cut maintenance costs.
The warehouse is being designed and constructed by COMPLANT in joint venture with Oubuntu architects. At the site, the workers were busy with final touches ahead of this year’s commissioning.
The Entebbe warehouse shall remain in use, meaning that at full capacity Uganda shall be in the unique position of having enough medicine and medical related stock to cater for most contingencies in the landlocked country with a fast-growing population.
NMS is tasked with procuring, storing and distributing essential medicines and medical supplies and vaccines to all Government health facilities throughout the country.