US$6m NatPharm warehouse takes shape

01 Jul, 2022 - 00:07 0 Views
US$6m NatPharm warehouse takes shape The building will be four times the size of the current provincial warehouse

The ManicaPost


Tendai Gukutikwa
Post Reporter

THE new US$6 million state-of-the-art National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm) warehouse being constructed at Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital will improve access to drugs and their availability in Manicaland, a Government official has said.

The building, which is in line with the devolution agenda, will have a surface of 2560m2 and will have a height of eight metres, which is four times the size of the current provincial warehouse.

The warehouse will therefore have the capacity to store pharmaceutical products four times more than the old warehouse which is only about 842m2.

The new warehouse will house around 6 000 pallets of medicine.

Speaking during a tour of the project where work has already begun, Secretary for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mr Edgars Seenza said construction of the warehouse is expected to be completed by May next year.

Masimba Construction was awarded the tender and work started in March.

Mr Seenza said with the Port of Beira being the preferred port of entry for Zimbabwe’s pharmaceutical products, there is need for a state-of-the-art and spacious warehouse in Mutare.

He said the move will benefit Manicaland more than any other province in the country as distribution of provincial drug consignments will be done from the warehouse.

Mr Seenza also said the spacious warehouse will cut transport costs as there will not be any need for medicines meant for Manicaland to be stored in Harare.

“The warehouse is an advantage to the province because hospitals and clinics will no longer have to wait for medicines to be dispatched from Harare. This is what has been happening all along, even when the medicine would have entered the country through Forbes Border Post. The shipment would be transported to Harare first and then Manicaland’s share would be transported back, thereby delaying the whole process.

“However, with this warehouse, all pharmaceutical items that will be imported via our local border post will be stored in the warehouse before distribution across the country,” he said.

Mr Seenza said as Government, they are happy with the funding of the project.

He said in line with Vision 2030 which is pursuing an upper middle income economy for the people of Zimbabwe, the warehouse is one of the many structures that Government is constructing in the province.

He also said roads leading to the warehouse will be constructed to allow easy access by shipment trucks.

Acting Provincial Medical Director, Dr Munyaradzi Mukuzunga said significant progress has already been made on the project.

“While the province is close to the port of entry, we could not store all the pharmaceutical shipments as we had a small warehouse which stores only a quarter of what the new warehouse will store.

“Currently those shipments go straight to Harare, even those that are destined for Manicaland, which means Government incurs more costs in transporting the stocks back here.

‘‘All that will be a thing of the past after the completion of the warehouse,” said Dr Mukuzunga.

In an interview, NatPharm Mutare Acting Branch Manager, Mr Cathias Mundandishe confirmed that they are grappling with storage space challenges in the current warehouse.

He said the advent of Covid-19 and the expansion of the Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) programme resulted in the need for more space to store pharmaceutical products.


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