28 November 2012

Uganda: New Drug Tracking Technology Saves Sh800m in Paper Expenses

The Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, has hailed local technology innovators who are providing local solutions that enhance service delivery, saying they will help the country transform economically.

Speaking as chief guest at the innovation award ceremony during the first public sector innovation conference at the National Water Resource Centre, Mbabazi said the Uganda 2040 vision that is yet to be adapted can only be achieved if public service officers deliver and implement policies.

A new locally developed technology that tracks the distribution of drugs in health facilities and is set to improve drug distribution and curb wastage of resources won overall awards.

Gayaza High School was also honoured for promoting e-education.

The Integrated Intelligence Computer System (IICS) developed by a local firm, IFE, and supported by the presidential initiative on science and technology, is now being rolled out at Mulago National Referral Hospital. It will greatly improve the way the Government delivers health service, according to the public service ministry.

Officials estimate that the IICS will reduce the costs of drugs by 30%. Already, some sh800m has been saved in costs from the reduced use of paper this year.

"We want to see a revolution in health service that will deliver one answer-the costs going down, quality improving and access," said Peter Kimbowa, the IICS project coordinator.

The computerisation of pharmaceuticals will curb the wastage that comes with stocking expired drugs and the time patients take to access drugs.

It will also improve the battered image of Mulago Hospital because there will not be stock outs. The technology will be rolled out countrywide.

Congratulating the winners, Mbabazi asked civil service managers and officers to embrace technology to allow for improved service delivery. He conceded that currently, the systems are too long and manual.

The other firm recognised was the army Wazalendo SAACO for their efforts in improving the welfare of soldiers and their families.

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