Chimoio Warehouse workers and government representatives during the Inauguration Ceremony. Credit: Luís Magamba

Chimoio, Mozambique – The province of Manica, in the central region of Mozambique, now has better conditions for storing medicines with the recently inaugurated Chimoio Intermediate Medicines and Medical Articles Warehouse. The opening of the space was made official on 01 July 2021 at a ceremony led by the President of Mozambique, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, within the scope of the Government's Five-Year Program 2020-2024 and the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Pharmaceutical Logistics in the country.

The work was carried out by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MISAU), within the scope of the "Strengthening the Health System" program, with funding from the Global Fund in about 5 million U.S. dollars, having as contractor PANLEEN, Lda; as supervisor of the work CONSULMAR; and as final beneficiary MISAU's Medicines and Medical Articles Center (CMAM).

In respect to identified need for increasing the number of health facilities in Mozambique, according to the 2020 Economic and Social Plan (PES), the Project responds to the Ministry of Health’s key priority in ensuring that the required health infrastructure is constructed and/or rehabilitated, especially in emergency context where is essential for citizens to have guaranteed access and reliability in health prevention, treatment and care services at the different levels.

Chimoio Intermediate Medicines and Medical Articles Warehouse. Credit: UNDP/TVM

Particularly in Manica province, the newly constructed Medical Warehouse will allow adequate supply chain management, preventing from stock outs and allowing the citizens of the districts of this province to receive adequate treatment when accessing health centers services. In this context, Mozambique walks towards gaining substantial infrastructure capacity to provide regular and continuous supply of vital and essential medicines and health products to Mozambicans though the National Health System.

The warehouse will introduce greater efficiency and control in the management of medicines and related products, as it replaces smaller warehouses located in the districts and will supply the Health Units directly - which will enable a more strategic, quick and timely stock replacement, taking into account expiration dates and quantity of products shipped, with a mindset to reduce waste and increase safety.

In his speech, during the inauguration ceremony, the President of the Republic, Filipe Nyusi, assured that “the work, built from scratch, includes the provision of modern equipment, with an installed capacity corresponding to a volume of 2,278 m2, making it a reference Medicine and Medical Articles Warehouse in the country. We are pleased to learn that this warehouse can supply directly 72 Health Units in the district of Chimoio and surrounding districts”.

President Nyusi speaking at the Inauguration Ceremony. Credit: TVM

The new facility is the second of its kind already built, of a group of 30 Intermediate Warehouses planned by MISAU-CMAM in the national territory, which will result in the replacement of 11 provincial warehouses and 240 district warehouses.

Principles of inclusion and resilience to climate change were addressed in the warehouse project, which included: Construction in an area of four hectares, with a capacity of 1,620 pallets, including offices, main warehouse, vaccine warehouse equipped with cold rooms, guardhouses, house machines and parking lot; handover of management and operational equipments – forklifts, racks, shelves and others. Additionally, it is equipped with an electronic smoke detection system and other mechanisms, such as a water tank to ensure safety against fires.

Forklift in operation at the Warehouse. Credit: TVM

The Chimoio Warehouse was also the first to receive a containerized incinerator for its waste treatment system and can work alternatively with renewable fuel, burnt oil, which will significantly reduce maintenance and management costs. Within the scope of the UNDP-MISAU partnership, drawings and technical guidelines for the installation and handling of this mobile incinerator model were developed together with CMAM to facilitate the future training of warehouse personnel. In this context, two other incinerators will also be installed in the provinces of Nampula and Gaza, to support waste management in the northern and southern regions of the country.

“As everyone knows, hospital waste is a danger, so it must be disposed very carefully and safely. According to the World Health Organization, hospital waste is dangerous, contains toxic or radioactive elements and 15% of the volume produced can be infected. Other wastes can cut or perforate and if they are poorly disposed, they can pollute the environment and cause harm to public health. Thus, with the installation and operation of the incinerator in the Intermediate Warehouse in Chimoio, the Ministry of Health will make a better management of pharmaceutical waste, thus contributing to the improvement of the environment and public health”, highlighted the President of Mozambique.

During the work, around 120 masons and artisans were hired, most of them from local communities. The women – who are rarely involved in the civil construction area – were also involved in the gardening and cleaning work to promote their additional family income. Likewise, local leaders were consulted on issues of environmental sustainability of the new space and they conveyed the community's vision that the warehouse represented another step to local development.

Workers at the new Chimoio Warehouse. Credit: TVM

“We challenge the managers of this Intermediate Warehouse in Chimoio to adopt the best conservation practices for this heritage, ensuring its permanent preservation and maintenance, and we count on the support of structures in the province of Manica, at different levels”, recalled Nyusi.

Despite the pandemic situation of Covid-19 having impacted most of the civil construction works, UNDP, in coordination with the contractor and the inspection, and collaboration of MISAU (Department of Infrastructure and CMAM), was able to guarantee the Warehouse project delivery within the planned schedule along with ongoing measures to mitigate contamination risks.

Construction project presentation during the Inauguration Ceremony. Credit: Luís Magamba

On the occasion of the opening ceremony, the Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Mozambique, Francisco Roquette, affirmed that the organization continues “to support the Government of Mozambique’s commitment, through the Ministry of Health, to improve the supply chain – thus we will continue supporting the expansion of health coverage and other essential service areas to Mozambicans. We are already committed to the rehabilitation of the Beira Warehouse, which will have a capacity of more than 5,000 pallets”.

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