Uganda: Automated Tracking to Stop Theft of Medical Supplies - PS Atwine

Ministry of health Permanent Secretary Ms Diana Atwine has said the ministry is set to adopt automated tracking systems in a bid to stop theft of medical supplies during distribution to health facilities and communities across the country.

"As the ministry continues to strengthen and improve the system, we want to strengthen the accountability, not only just nets but other supplies that we take to the hospitals, communities. We are going to move away from manual systems to embrace digital systems that can actually help us in real time by reporting, verifying and making sure we have value for money," she said.

Ms Atwine made the remarks on Friday after awarding certificates to at least 200 National Medical Stores (NMS) delivery clerks who were involved in the recent distribution of mosquito nets across the country.

"Initially the partners didn't believe we have mechanisms to strengthen that distribution channel, they would use NGO's. We have worked with NMS to ensure nets are distributed up to sub county level and were able to be tracked in real time," she said.

Ms Atwine said the automation of the tracking of medical supplies will stop the theft of medical supplies along the distribution channels and improve the ministry's efficacy.

"We started a system whereby we use a phone to capture the mosquito nets at households but it was very low since it had just been developed. We believe that between now and the next distribution we shall perfect it, link it to their (NMS) system and upgrade our systems to make sure that we are able to account for the nets at community levels in real time" she said.

NMS General Manager Mr Moses Kamabare said use of technological tracking systems ensures safe delivery of supplies.

"Previously some of the nets would get loaded onto the truck but would not arrive in the quantity they had been loaded. We had to make sure to get in touch with security to ensure nothing gets picked from the truck until it arrives at it's destination" he said.

Mr Kamabare said 28.4 million nets were delivered successfully, making a 100 percent delivery.

"The donors sent 28.8 million nets with an excess of 400,000 nets surplus due to past experiences, we still have the 400,000 nets in our warehouses as the ministry plans for them" he said.

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