During the commissioning ceremony for the new National Pharmaceutical Warehouse in Harare last Thursday, His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the new facility had increased floor space which enables storage of large quantities of medicines and improvement in the health delivery system towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.
“The new warehouse, which has a total surface area of 3 220 square metres has the capacity to hold 10 000 pallets, which is up from the current 6 000 pallet capacity of the old warehouse.
“This increase is set to significantly improve the operational efficiency in the access of medicines, drugs, and medical consumables in our health service delivery system and further enhance our quest to achieve Universal Health Coverage,” said President Mnangagwa.
The President said the warehouse was constructed in such a way that it could handle bulk products and allows packaging for further distribution to health facilities across the country.
“It is applauded that, the new warehouse is designed to enable receipt of bulk products from multiple suppliers. Storage and packaging will also be enabled for onward delivery to lower-level regional warehouses and facilities across the country,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa went on to explain that NatPharm has another big warehouse being constructed at Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital in Manicaland Province as well as in other provinces with a view to reducing outsourcing of storage space.
“In line with our devolution and decentralisation agenda, my Government is set to roll out regional NatPharm medical stores warehouses. To date, the construction of another state-of-the-art 2 500 square metre regional NatPharm warehouse has begun in Mutare.
“Strides have also been made to secure land to construct additional regional warehouses in Mashonaland Central (Bindura), Matabeleland North (Lupane) and Matabeleland South (Gwanda). These warehouses will minimise Government’s outsourcing of storage facilities,” said President Mnangagwa.
Relatedly, Ministry of Health and Child Care Acting Director Hospital Planning and Projects Management, Engineer Frank Chiku plans were underway to build another warehouse at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals. He added that pharmacy stores will be constructed at all health facilities including clinics to make sure that medicines are delivered right to where the patients are.
The new National Pharmaceutical Company warehouse was constructed with a grant from the Chinese government. Construction started in August 2019 and was completed in May 2022.