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Around 17 billion birr worth of pharmaceutical items have been procured by the Pharmaceuticals Fund and Supply Agency (PFSA) during the past six months. According to PFSA Deputy Director General Wondwossen Ayele, the Agency has been able to reach 85 percent of the need for medicine so far.

The agency currently has 17 stores across the country and it plans to increase that number to 23 during the second Growth and Transformation Plan. The six additional storage units will be built at an estimated cost of 300 million birr.

“The new storage facilities will be different as they will be built based on international standards so that there won’t be issues such as what had happened to the storage in Adama last year,” Wondwossen said referring to the destroyed storage facility in Adama from a faulty electrical line.

According to the Agency, key areas have already been identified to build the storage facilities; one is 60,000 square meter are in Sebeta near the railway station. The Agency, through the Ministry of Health has already asked for the specified land and is waiting on the green light.

Once the six additional storage facilities begin providing service, there will be a storage facility in a 180 km radius making the reach to heath centers and ultimately to consumers much more effective and timely. To make the logistics even more effective, the Agency is further bringing in 72 trucks and vans which will arrive from Djibouti in the coming weeks.

The expansion of the storage facilities plays a crucial role in minimizing the considerable amount of waste when it comes to pharmaceutical products. The Agency also stated that the amount of medicines that expire and are wasted are well below the international set limit of two percent.