The Director of Lira Regional Referral Hospital, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, has been appointed the new Director General of Health Services to replace Dr Sam Zaramba who retired recently.

Dr Aceng, a member of the National Medical Stores’ board takes over from Dr Kenya-Mugisha who has been the acting Director General for several months.

The appointment was revealed last week at a joint cocktail for the NMS staff and members of the Board of Directors organised to appreciate the NMS staff for turning around the corporation and restoring the confidence of the public in the company.
According to a news statement, Dr Phillip Byaruhanga, the Chairman of the Board, said NMS services are now appreciated by most health workers, leaders and patients, unlike before when the corporation was notorious for erratic delivery of medicines, expired stocks and stock outs.

“…Most people say that over the last few years, NMS deliveries have become regular, they come in good quantities and stories of large quantities of expiries are no more,” reads part of the statement.

Dr Byaruhanga said NMS has become more visible due to regular delivery of medicines to health facilities, opening of regional offices, responsiveness to customer needs, re-branding and direct delivery to lower health facilities.

He said the government’s decision to transfer all funds for procurement of medicines to NMS was a vote of confidence in the board and the new management as well as staff that they were up to the task.

NMS General Manager, Mr Moses Kamabare said staff refer to themselves as “NMS United” because of the culture of teamwork that drives the corporation’s operations.

“The decision to start delivering medicines beyond district headquarters up to their last destination is because the patient is NMS’ primary concern,” he said.

Before April this year, NMS would deliver supplies directly to hospitals only and would drop those for lower health facilities at district headquarters. District Health Officers (DHOs) were responsible for distribution within the districts but in most cases, supplies would delay to reach Health Centre IVs, Health Centre IIIs and Health Centre IIs.

Kamabare said the appointment of Dr Aceng as DG was a sign that the government was happy with the work of the Board whose term expires next week.

Dr Aceng was among 12 medical personnel, whose performance in the health sector was deemed exemplary, who were awarded in September 2010 by President Museveni

She is a paediatrician by training. She won an Academic Paediatrics Association award for her abstract, A International Health Award A Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing The Efficacy Of Rectal Artemether With Intravenous Quinine In The Treatment Of Cerebral Malaria In Children, in 2005