Assessment of the Essential Medicines Kit-Based Supply System in Uganda
(2011; 63 pages)


In December 2010, the Ministry of Health (MOH), together with the Securing Ugandans’ Right to Essential Medicines (SURE) program, implemented an assessment of the kit-based supply system introduced nationwide in Uganda in June 2010.

In 1985, when Uganda was struggling to ensure availability of essential medicines and health supplies (EMHS), public health facilities were using a push or kit-based order system. In 2002, the kit system was abolished and a pull or order-based system replaced it to make better use of the limited resources available for EMHS. The introduction of the pull system was accompanied by capacity building in supply chain management at the facility level, which has been ongoing with support from Danida, USAID through DELIVER and SCMS, and other health care partners. However, medicines management remains weak; only 50% of the products in a SURE 2010 facility baseline survey had the correct stock balance on the stock card. Poor medicines management combined with insufficient EMHS funding have led to serious availability problems that threaten the provision of health care to the people of Uganda.

In an attempt to rectify the unsatisfactory supply situation and improve the availability of life-saving medicines, the MOH and the National Medical Stores (NMS) decided to reintroduce a kit supply system for lower-level health facilities, whose staff typically have the weakest medicines management skills.

This study was carried out in December 2010, following several kit distribution cycles, to assess the effects of the kit system on the availability of EMHS at level II and III health centers (HCs).

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