African Excellence Awards 2021

10 MEA MARKETS / African Excellence Awards 2021 , Best Government Pharmaceutical Warehouse - East Africa The need for medical supplies is one which is no easy task tomatch up to for any company. The challenges revolve around the logistics of procurement, storage and distribution. Since 1993, the teamat National Medical Stores have led the field on behalf of the people of Uganda, earning them incredible success in the African Excellence Awards 2021. We profile the organization to see how they did it. The NMS Act of 1993 transformed the way in which medicine was stored in Uganda, providing a clear framework form which essential medicines and medical supplies would be stored and distributed for the benefit of the people of Uganda. Operating as an organization that is necessarily part of the government and entirely separate, it has its own unique way of working that has brought about incredible success. Over the years, the essential work that the team does has been refined to near perfection, with processes that have been carefully developed in order to ensure that the mandate that the team have is always being delivered. Medicines lie at the heart of any country, affecting people from every background. By centralizing the work of supplying these vital supplies, it’s easier to ensure that everyone in the country has access to what they need, when they need it. Since those early days nearly thirty years ago, National Medical Stores has transformed its operation, incorporating many innovations to assure its continued success in modern times. These innovations are not just led by the technology that is available, but by the needs of the individuals who rely on their services. Feedback lies at the core of much of the work that National Medical Stores does, and the team make a point of improving the service that is available to all stakeholders wherever possible. The transformation that can be seen over the decades is clear for all to see, with many justifiably celebrating the team’s good work. Just ten years ago, the availability of medicines in Government health facilities was a mere 21% when required. This inspired a decision that would revolutionize the way in which the business worked. Instead of funding districts to buy their own medicines, National Medical Stores would meet the needs of the whole country, able to take a holistic approach that could anticipate demand more effectively. The plan was a remarkable success. By 2018, this had raised to 85%, which is a credit to the team’s hard and tireless work in the field. While this is a major improvement, it is also another target for the team to try and reach in the future. They believe that this success is something that can be built on moving forward. With the facilities and space offered by a new warehouse, National Medical Stores will be able to accommodate whatever challenges face Uganda for years to come. Some of these improvements will come from the automation of various processes. Currently, the team reaches out to, and proudly serves, over three thousand different medical facilities. Making the reception and processing of orders more efficient would make communicating and providing the appropriate services to these organizations much easier. Instead of having to phone, health workers will be able to place an order that is received and acted upon in seconds. It makes the whole system significantly more transparent, giving people the opportunity to interface with the company directly and get precisely the information that they need. Now, the team has been able to improve and expand its fleet of delivery vehicles significantly. A complex mix of cold-chain trucks form the beating heart of May21799 the company’s network, able to transport vital medicines and vaccines to various facilities as and when they are needed. The success of National Medical Stores was pushed to the limit during the COVID-19 pandemic, both when it came to supplying the rapidly needed supplies at the outset and when it came to administering the vaccine later. National Medical Stores has proven itself an organization that has been capable of distributing vaccines across Uganda within a fortnight, and able to maintain this on a monthly basis. It’s an incredible achievement, and one well worth celebrating. Of course, such success with government facilities has encouraged the team to look further afield when it comes to serving the people of Uganda. As time and the law allows, the team at National Medical Stores are exploring the possibilities of serving organizations in the private sector as well. There are a number of gaps in the market that could benefit from the team’s knowledge and skills. The delivery of various vaccines over the years has proven the advantages of a carefully designed delivery system. By engaging in this new field, it’ll be possible to