The Joint Medical Stores (JMS) is troubled by the substandard medical supplies that find themselves on the Ugandan market, putting the lives of unsuspecting consumers at great risk.
Dr Bildard Baguma, JMS executive director, told reporters that government must put emphasis on sieving out substandard drugs before they enter the market. He said as an agency that seeks to provide quality supplies to non-profit health facilities, they had found substandard medicines on the market particularly troubling.
Moreover, most Ugandans buy their drugs off the counter. Baguma was announcing a series of events to mark the agency’s 40th anniversary.
He said JMS had secured a partnership with a Luxembourg-based firm, B-Medical Systems, a move that will see the agency receive high quality medical equipment.
B-Medical Systems manufactures quality cold chain and medical refrigeration facilities. In a statement on Friday, JMS said the partnership “shall subsidize quality vaccine and medicine refrigerators thereby facilitating effective storage of vaccines, anti-diabetics-insulin, antivenom, and anaesthetics.”
Obiely Tayoro, the sub-Saharan Africa sales manager for B-Medical systems, said the fridges were eco-friendly because they use solar and have the capacity “of powering other equipment fitting into the Ugandan context where a number of health facilities are off the grid.”
B-Medical Systems describes itself as “pioneer in the medical equipment industry…with expertise in cold chain and blood safety.”
According to Baguma, “The refrigerators are backed by a temperature monitoring system that ensures standards set by the manufacturers are complied with to ensure efficacy of vaccines and other cold chain pharmaceuticals at the health facility.”
He said they JMS and B-Medical systems could also help government facilities to store blood. Among other activities to mark 40 years anniversary, are partnerships with church to refurbish mission health facilities, and strengthening of the mission-based health systems.
JMS was founded by the Uganda Protestant and the Catholic Medical Bureaus in 1979 at the time the country was experiencing acute shortage of medical supplies. It was intended to spur quality and quantity of supplies in church-founded health facilities to avert the shortages.