Newly Constructed Central Medical Store in Caldwell, a “one-stop shop” for health product supply hub
It brought smiles to the faces of most health sector officials, partners, and health workers as they witnessed the official dedication of the newly constructed pharmaceutical warehouse named and styled: “Central Medical Store (CMS)” in Caldwell which is intended to help address current supply chain challenges confronting Liberia’s Health System.
Many medical practitioners believed the state of the art medical facility is one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of Liberia under the stewardship of Dr. Bernice Dahn, Liberia’s Minister of Health.
Dr. Dahn puts the cost of the modern facility at a little over US$5 million; with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (TGF), through the Liberia Coordinating Mechanism (LCM), contributing about US$3 million; while USAID and the government of Liberia contributed the rest. The modern warehouse became functional in January 2018, replacing the Ministry of Health (MoH) transitional facilities at the Freeport of Monrovia.
The building covers 3,000 square meters and conforms to international standards for storage of health products, according to Mr. Hasan Kobeissi, Country Director of Dalal Steel International, the company that constructed the facility. “There is proper temperature to ensure appropriate preservation of health products, and a mechanical technical room consisting of thousands of gallons of reserved water to tackle any future fire incident before the arrival of the National Fire Service,” he noted.
Dedicating the facility, Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the issue of drugs has always been a major problem in the Liberian health sector and the storage facility will be a major boost in addressing the problem, especially at a time the storage facility at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital was burnt.
The Liberian leader thanked the Ministry of Health, headed by Dr. Bernice Dahn and the government’s partners including Global Fund, USAID, GAVI and WHO.
“As we travel around the country and from time to time as we stop at hospitals and clinics, the shortage of drugs has always been an issue.
“Most of the time we talk to healthcare workers, nurses and doctors, they always talk about the problem of stock out of drugs and medical supplies.
“At the same time, we sometimes find that while the hospitals are lacking drugs, there is a private operation not too far that is well stocked.
“I am glad that accountability, financial system management is one of those that has been mentioned as part of the management framework for this new structure.
“We need to say thank you to all of our partners who have been with us all these many years.
“This structure brings to our memory that it wasn’t too long ago when we had a major fire at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in which drugs were destroyed and facilities were also destroyed. This facility is a state of the art facility and the structure will be protected.”
Representing the Global Fund during the dedicatory program, Sister Barbara Brilliant, fmm of the Mother Pattern College of Health Sciences, who is First Vice Chair of the Liberia Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund, emphasized the importance of the newly constructed Central Medical Store, noting that the state of the art technology facility will serve as a boost to the health sector, especially in the area of prompt delivery of quality drugs and medical supplies. She further called on health care workers in the country to demonstrate a “heart” of commitment to the health sector and the people of Liberia to ensure the nation reaches its share of global target to end AIDS, TB, Malaria and other illnesses. She then reiterated the Global Fund commitment to continuously support the health sector to end AIDS, TB, and Malaria.
In a remark, USAID Mission Director, Anthony Chan said the dedication of the Central Medical Store is a critical step in improving the health sector while commending all partners for emphases placed on the sector. He pledged USAID’s support to Liberia’s health sector among others, stressing: “Effective accountability system is important.”