THERE is now high response from the public in reporting to the Tanzania Medicines and Medical Devices Authority (TMDA) over adverse reactions of consumed medicines.
The data indicates that last year, TMDA recorded a total of 1000 reported cases, up from an annual average of 250 cases in the previous years.
The public’s high response in reporting to the authority was a result of introducing an online platform last year, known as an Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR) reporting tool, on which people can report through their mobile phones. The ADR is an injury caused by taking medication.
ADRs may occur following a single dose or prolonged administration of a drug or result from the combination of two or more drugs.
“We have worked on the reported cases,” stated Mr Adam Fimbo, TMDA’s Acting Director-General, noting that the victims reported by filling in a special form available online giving details.
He was speaking in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday to a team of information officers of institutions under the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children.
The officers, alongside the journalists, were on a tour to observe service improvements made at the TMDA during the current government.
The visit was part of a campaign dubbed ‘Tumeboresha Afya’ which intends to highlight improvements in the country’s health sector.
Mr Fimbo explained the authority had to a large extent curbed importation and exportation of substandard drugs and medical devices through deploying enough staff at ports.
The TMDA has also put in place an electronic system of issuance of permits for importers and exporters of such products.
The system allows a customer to send applications and make payments wherever they are and get the permit within 24 hours.
Through this system, the number of issued permits has increased from 13,018 in 2015/16 to 26,478 in 2018/19.
Utilization of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) is meant to improve services of the TMDA, particularly reducing the time of serving the customers, Mr Fimbo pointed out.