President of the Republic of Zambia, Edgar Chagwa Lungu officially commissioned the new Lusaka VNA Medical Warehouse at Medical Stores Limited (MSL).
President Lungu noted that the newly constructed ultra-modern state-of-the-art central warehouse at MSL pointed to Government’s commitment to deliver on improving the quality of life and health of all Zambians without leaving anyone behind. He said that the Government of the Republic of Zambia has prioritized the health of the people as a fundamental economic investment at enhancing human capital as articulated in the 7NDP. The President underscored, “we will be tough by ensuring enforcement of relevant policy, legal and operational instruments to guarantee the highest standards of safety and security including efficiency throughout the supply chain.”
At the event, European Union (EU) Ambassador, Alessandro Mariani gave tribute to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for providing its expertise, which resulted in the completion of all works within a period of a year. Mr. Mariani said, “under the supervision of UNDP, the construction of the works kicked off in March 2018, and in just over one year, all the works have been completed. This is a truly remarkable achievement”. He also pointed out that the EU provided a grant of 4.8 million euro (approx. 67 million Kwacha) to UNDP through MSL for the construction of the new VNA warehouse, upgrading of the existing store, establishment of the warehouse support units’ infrastructure, and building of the new hazardous store.
The new VNA warehouse is a completely new pharmaceutical grade 6,000m2 warehouse with 23,000 new pallet space. As the racking in the new warehouse goes up 16 meters high, the floor is meeting some of the highest standards available worldwide (DM1), thereby joining a very select group of warehouses in Africa. The warehouse also became "greener" through the provision of energy efficient equipment and lighting, as well as a sustainable, solar power back up supply. Security has been significantly strengthened, notably through the rationalization of entry/exit points and the provision of CCTV monitoring equipment.
This initiative significantly enhances capacity of Medical Stores Limited and efficiency to store and distribute medicines, and more broadly assist MSL and the Ministry of Health to improve the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of the pharmaceutical supply management system. MSL no longer needs to rent additional storage space in Lusaka and has now all the medicines under one roof, which greatly reduces on its costs and improves the security and accuracy of the stock and delivery records. This will ultimately benefit the health needs of the Zambian people.