The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in collaboration with Global Fund, says it is upgrading central medical warehouses in Imo State to international standards to meet the health needs of the people.
UNICEF’s Acting Chief of Enugu Field Office, Mr Olusoji Akinleye, said this at the official handover of the facilities to UNICEF by the Imo government, in Owerri, on Friday.
Akinleye, represented by a UNICEF Contract Specialist, Mr Benjamin Makolo, said the project, expected to be completed by December 2023, was aimed at strengthening the state’s logistic management system as part of its health system.
“This is a multi partner venture, with the Global Fund taking the lead in providing the resources for the project.
“It is aimed at strengthening the country’s supply chain management system and 22 states were selected out of 36; Imo is one of them.
“The principal recipient for the grant is National TB and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP), with the UNICEF taking care of the technical coordination and construction of the warehouses.
“Other collaborating government partners include the National Product Supply Chain Management Program (NPSCMP), National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), and Department of Health Planning, Research and Statistics (DHPRS) “, he said.
Speaking, UNICEF’s Head of Vaccine Supply Logistics (VSL) in Imo, Mr Benjamin Nwabuisi, said a bidding process had taken place and vendors selected, with paper work already completed for the commencement of the project.
“The bidding process has been concluded and vendors selected, MoUs have been signed with the states and we’re here today for the sites to be handed over by the state government to the vendors for construction work to commence,” he said.
Also speaking, the Director of Projects, MP Infrastructure, the contractors for the project, Mr Pius Ike, said it will be a fast-track project, involving various levels of upgrade of existing warehouses.
Speaking, the Imo Commissioner for Health, Success Prosper-Ohayagha, thanked the UNICEF and its partners for thinking toward the state.
He restated the commitment of the Gov. Hope Uzodinma – led government to effective health care reforms and development, adding that the project would receive full support from the state’s Ministry of Health.
“This is our central medical store for Imo, where we have our commodities, all is now set for the upgrade.
“With this upgrade to international standards, the warehouses will become more efficient, and the provision of healthcare for Imo people and the rest of Nigeria will be enhanced,” he said.