Uganda Health Supply Chain: Our Impact

 {Photo credit UHSC staff/MSH}Henry Oundo, UHSC staff member, reviews stock records with Opolot Grace, assistant inventory management officer at Princess Diana Health Center, Uganda.Photo credit UHSC staff/MSH

In the foothills of Uganda’s fabled Moon Rwenzori Mountains, in the far west of the country, sits Bundibugyo Hospital. From its front steps you can see the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the distance. Many refugees who fled their homes during DRC’s internal conflict are treated at here. The hospital regularly serves a population of nearly 49,000, many of whom rely on its HIV clinic for prevention, treatment, and care. Built in 1969, Bundibugyo Hospital had always faced the challenge of limited storage space for medicines and health supplies.

{Photo Credit: Rui Pires}Photo Credit: Rui Pires

Excessive bleeding after birth is the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide, killing nearly 200 women a day.

{Photo Credit: Rui Pires}Photo Credit: Rui Pires

In Uganda, 4 in 10 maternal deaths are caused by postpartum hemorrhage, or excessive bleeding after childbirth. Intravenous oxytocin is the treatment of choice for managing postpartum hemorrhage at a health facility but must be stored between 2oC and 8oC to remain effective. The country’s cold chain infrastructure is weak, however, particularly at lower level health facilities, where half of all assisted births occur. The majority of these facilities only have refrigerators that are specifically procured and used for the storage of vaccines.

 {Photo credit: MSH staff}The Koboko District Rapid Response team and partners discuss medicines and medical supplies to order through the eELMISPhoto credit: MSH staff

Read the original story on the USAID websiteIdentifying opportunities to improve global health requires innovation and creative thinking.  In developing countries such as Uganda, the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting an already-strained health system. Access to primary health care remains difficult for many people, and quality of care is inconsistent, with limited drugs, supplies, and human resources.

 {Photo credit: MSH staff}A district TB and leprosy supervisor conducts supportive supervision.Photo credit: MSH staff

According to the National population based TB prevalence survey, each year, 87,000 Ugandans develop tuberculosis (TB), a preventable and curable disease. Strides have been made to notify more cases. In 2019, the National TB and Leprosy program notified 61,372 cases, leading to a 76% (61,372/80,412) treatment success rate. This was a huge improvement, with a 53% treatment success rate reported three years earlier.Many patients go untreated due to poor health-seeking behavior and limited access to health services.

 {Photo credit: Elias Tuhereze}Photo caption: Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, Makerere University Vice Chancellor (4th left); UHSC Chief of Party Phillip Kamutenga (5th right); and Professor Josaphat Byamugisha (2nd right) with laboratory staff during the launch of RxSolution at Makerere University Hospital, Kampala, Uganda, November 2019.Photo credit: Elias Tuhereze

By Sheila MwebazeWhen Professor Josaphat Byamugisha and his team took over management of Makerere University Hospital in 2018, they quickly realized that they needed to make major infrastructural and operational improvements to the hospital and its affiliated clinics.

The US Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Deborah Malac, handed the facilities over to the Ministry of Health, represented by Dr. Charles Olaro, the Director of Clinical Services, at a ceremony at Luwunga Health Centre in Wakiso district.

On Thursday, August 22, 2019, the US Government officially handed over the first 14 of 26 newly constructed, prefabricated medicine storage units to the Ugandan Ministry of Health to help scale up the country’s HIV and AIDS epidemic response.The facilities will increase storage space for health commodities, including antiretroviral medicines, and will support the roll-out of the test and treat strategy for achieving HIV and AIDS control. The facilities will help ensure that adequate quantities of HIV medicines are available for Ugandans living with HIV.Dr.

 {Photo credit: MSH staff}Laboratory technician, Samuel Oule, discusses laboratory data with the facility in-charge, Dr. Denis Omiat, at Apapai Health Centre IV.Photo credit: MSH staff

The Apapai Health Centre IV laboratory in Serere district, Eastern Uganda, is busy today with ten patients waiting to have their lab tests taken. The laboratory technician, Samuel Oule, is confident that he has the right laboratory supplies to run tests for everyone he will see today—a welcome change from 12 months ago, when he would have had to turn some patients away because he lacked one or more needed laboratory supplies. Lacking needed supplies was fairly common to Oule and others in Uganda.

Principal Dispenser and MTC Secretary, David Ouma in the Moroto regional referral hospital medicines stores

Malaria is the leading cause of outpatient visits in Uganda (Ministry of Health, Annual Health Sector Performance Report, 2015/2016), and prevention, diagnosis, and treatment are crucial for reducing preventable deaths, lowering the risk of resistance to antimalarial medicines, and decreasing medicine wastage and misuse. 

{Photo credit: Sarah Lagot}H.E. Deborah Malac, US Ambassador to Uganda, delivers motorbikes to Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health, to support the implementation of the USAID/Uganda Health Supply Chain program’s Supervision Performance Assessment Recognition Strategy.Photo credit: Sarah Lagot

On November 29, 2017, the US Government donated motorcycles and laptop computers to Uganda’s Ministry of Health as part of its ongoing effort to strengthen the health commodity supply chain system and improve the health of Ugandans. The donation was made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID’s Uganda Health Supply Chain (UHSC) program, implemented by Management Sciences for Health. 

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