The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) on Thursday handed over 9 forklifts and 4 vehicles to the Pharmaceutical Fund and Supply Agency (PFSA) at a ceremony held in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
The forklifts and vehicles worth 10.4 million Birr were bought with funds made available by UNFPA’s Global Program to enhance Reproductive Health Commodity Security (RHCS), according to a statement from UNFPA.
The forklifts are intended to upgrade PFSA’s capacity in loading and unloading of commodities while the vehicles would aid supportive supervision activities in the health supply chain management, said the statement.
Speaking on the occasion, Amir Amin, Ethiopia’s State Minister of Health, noted that UNFPA is one of the allies in strengthening the supply chain management in availing contraceptive commodities. “The next five years are critical and UNFPA’s continued support as an ally is pivotal,” said the State Minister.
Meskele Lera, Director-General of the Pharmaceutical Fund and Supply Agency, said UNFPA’s latest support would be pivotal in strengthening the operations and management of pharmaceuticals supply chain in Ethiopia.
He stated that since a memorandum of understanding was signed with UNFPA in 2007, the latter has also been availing commodities through direct supply as well as health system strengthening.
Faustin Yao, UNFPA Country Representative, said “ensuring universal access to contraception to avoid unintended pregnancies is one of the measures in reducing maternal mortality.”
“Attaining reproductive health commodity security is essential to support Ethiopia’s earnest efforts at achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing maternal mortality,” he added.
He noted that the support provided to PFSA would strengthen the Agency’s capacity thereby complementing the country’s efforts at improving maternal health.
Yao said UNFPA would continue to provide technical assistance to PFSA in addition to the material support.
Ethiopia is one of the priority countries for the UNFPA Global Program to Enhance Reproductive Health Commodity Security (RHCS), said the statement.
The statement recalled that Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Global Programme to Enhance RHCS in 2007.
The Program has been supporting over the years Ethiopia’s efforts at increasing the contraceptive prevalence rate which has registered remarkable results in recent years currently standing at 42 per cent, it said.
Moreover, over the years the number of service delivery points offering three or more contraceptive methods has increased to more than 90 per cent and the incidence of contraceptive stock out has significantly decreased, said the statement.
The annual contraceptive requirement in Ethiopia is worth around 600 million Birr, according to UNFPA.
PFSA distributes contraceptives to public health facilities through its 11 hubs across the country, slated to be expanded to 17 in the near future.
UNFPA, through funds secured from the Global Programme to Enhance RHCS, has been filling at least one third of the country’s contraceptive needs spending 200 to 300 million Birr every year.
It is to be recalled that in 2010 UNFPA handed-over to PFSA equipment worth 3.5 million Birr, said the statement. Enditem