Tanzania: ‘Our Supply of Essential Drugs Surpasses WHO Proposed Level’


TANZANIA has improved availability of essential medicines in the country’s health facilities above the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended level.

Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Minister Ummy Mwalimu said the government has improved access to essential medicines through provision of more drugs in the health facilities at the district level.

Ms Mwalimu, speaking during her tour of Njombe Designated Referral Hospital on Monday to witness the provision of health services, said the government has continually improved availability of medicines to wananchi.

Accompanied by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr Zainabu Chaula and other executives, the minister said the government has provided 312 essential medicines, exceeding the WHO recommended list of 300 drugs.

“We have in place a system to collect information from dispensary, health centre and hospital levels, enabling the government to establish the health facilities’ actual demand and consumption of drugs,” she said.

Ms Mwalimu dismissed as unfounded rumours that health facilities were lacking essential drugs, assuring that citizens were easily accessing them from hospitals.

“We must be fair to President John Magufuli…he has done a lot in the health sector by improving the availability of medicines. When we say we have increased medicine availability, it means drugs can be easily accessed even at private facilities,” she insisted.

She named the prioritised medicines as antibiotics, antimalarial, anti-inflammatory and medicines for non-communicable diseases.

Dr Chaula said that plans were underway to submit the health insurance bill that will allow all citizens to have health insurance cover, urging the health personnel to encourage patients to join health insurance schemes for guaranteed medical services.

“I call upon all health personnel here to encourage patients who go for medical treatment to join the National Health Insurance Fund,” she advised.

The Medical Officer incharge at the Hospital, Dr Winfred Kyambile said the hospital has improved the services, thanks to increasing revenues to fund the service delivery.

He said medicine availability has boosted the hospital revenues as well. Dr Kyambile noted previously the hospital used to collect 12m/- monthly but to date the revenue collection has increased to between 90m/- and 100m/-. He said part of the revenue was used to improve the health services at the hospital.

Meanwhile, President John Magufuli is today expected to lay the foundation stone for construction of Njombe Regional Referral Hospital. The president arrived in Njombe yesterday for a threeday official tour of the region

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Publish date : 2019-04-10 10:09:40

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