New electronic system to speed up drug distribution

The Health ministry’s new electronic system of delivering drugs to health centres across the country is enhancing efficiency and speed of the distribution, officials have said.

The Health ministry’s new electronic system of delivering drugs to health centres across the country is enhancing efficiency and speed of the distribution, officials have said.

Joseph Kabatende, the head of pharmaceutical services and logistics management, said the Electronic Logistics Management Information System (eLMIS) that cost more than $1 million (about Rwf678 million) aims at cutting the red tape and ensuring  more efficiency in drug delivery. 

“This web-based system already benefits 30 district pharmacies, 42 district hospitals and five referral hospitals,” Kabatende told The New Times yesterday. 

Curbing drawbacks

He added that eLMIS, which was launched about two weeks ago, will be rolled out in more than 500 health centres countrywide by the end of July. 

Kabatende said, previously, the ministry was using a paper-based format (Logistics Management Information System), which was always dotted with inaccuracies and delays.  

“From the ministry headquarters, one can tell, for instance, which district hospital or pharmacy is out of stock or overstocked with drugs and this helps with planning,” he said, adding that cases of drug loss will also reduce, since the method has an alerting system about expiry dates. 

“The method has a tracking system which monitors the transportation of drug consignments from the central medical store to various destinations countrywide, thus minimising cases of fraud or loss.” 

Clement Rurangwa, the director of Bugesera District Pharmacy, expressed appreciation toward the new system, saying it would save time. 

“Before it would take about two weeks to get deliveries after ordering from the central medical store, but today it takes less than two days,” Rurangwa said, adding that the system makes it easy to spot and recall bad drugs, which saves lives. 

Timely deliveries

“Having a system that enables timely deliveries, planning and adaptability, is a key milestone in the quest for providing quality healthcare to citizens,” said Dr Anita Asiimwe, the State minister for public health and primary healthcare. 

Over time, more health facilities have been built and evenly distributed throughout the country. 

Latest statistics from Ministry of Health indicate that the number of non-private health facilities in Rwanda increased from 579 in 2010 to 720 at the end of 2011, while access to health facilities increased from 31 per cent in 2003 to 95 per cent in 2010 owing to community health insurance coverage.

 

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