New Pharmaceutical Warehouse Opens In Samoa

Facility to improve health by properly storing vaccines, medicines

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, August 24, 2016) – After 8 years of planning, the National Health Service (NHS) has finally opened the doors of it’s new $12.9 million [US$5.1 million] pharmaceutical warehouse at Moto’otua.

Funded by Australia, the facility was opened by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi and Australia’s visiting Minister for the International Development & the Pacific – Senator Concetta  Fierravanti – Wells.

The state of the art facility will contribute greatly to saving lives in Samoa, and is designed and built to keep vaccines and medicines at the right temperature, so that they could maintain a lifesaving dependency. The medicines can also be bought in bulk to help bring costs down.

The new pharmaceutical warehouse will house all medicines for the Malietoa Tanumafili hospital in Savaii and the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital in Upolu.

Tuilaepa said since 1990, Government laid the challenges for the ministries that include the sufficient number of employees, the safe storage of medicines and to ensure the medicine are not out of date, and that there is sufficient supply.

At the time, there was no particular storage facility hence Governments plan to build a specific warehouse for medicines only.

“The intention was to store all medicines for the hospitals as well as the private pharmacies, “but the problem was the lack of workers,” said Tuilaepa.

Government noted a lot of things that needed to be upgraded within the MOH, and in 2015, the planned pharmaceutical warehouse was finally endorsed by Cabinet on the budget of $12.9 million.

The work was contracted to the Capella Pacific Ltd. and built to the design by Stevenson & Turner with Tinai and Cordon Consultant.

The facility is cyclone proof built has an emergency generator, a fire alarm system that connects directly to the Fire Emergency Samoa Authority (FESA) and air conditioned and built based on the World Health Organisation guidelines and to the New Zealand and Australian codes.

He acknowledged the partnership of Australia, New Zealand and the World Bank who funded the facility.

Senator Wells acknowledged the warm welcome as “we celebrate this marvellous achievement of the opening of the new pharmaceutical warehouse.”

“This is the work of many hands, and I congratulate the Government of Samoa on this outstanding facility, New Zealand and the World Bank also deserve full credit for the support and contribution to the project,” said Senator Wells.

“This state of the art facility will contribute greatly to saving lives in Samoa, and is designed and built to keep vaccine and medicines installed at the right temperature, so that they could maintain a lifesaving dependency.”

She also said that the new facility will enable Samoa to purchase pharmaceutical supplies in advance and in larger quantities thus opening up the potential to save time and money.

The facility will not only store emergency supplies for Samoa, but also for the region in times of disasters, said Senator Wells.

This is Senator Wells first visit to Samoa and she helped open two major projects – the Vaitele street 4 lane road and the pharmaceutical warehouse.

She also visited the Australian Pacific Technical College (APTC) at Vaivase, the Vailima Primary School and the Rugby League Academy that hosts NRL programmes for young men and women.

Copyright © 2016 Talamua. All Rights Reserved

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