Tanzania firm to cut drugs import

THE government has expressed its resolve to ensure pharmaceutical factories are established in the country despite an opposition from some individuals and entities.

Vice-President Dr Philip Mpango expressed the determination yesterday, saying the government is aware of the existence of opposition from individuals and entities on the construction of pharmaceutical factories in the country, insisting that   since the development is the result of the decision by President Samia Suluhu Hassan no one will manage to stall such projects.

Dr Mpango said currently the government imports medical drugs by 80 per cent and medical devices by 90 per cent.

“This situation causes shortage of equipment, including causing the government to incur high cost in importing medical equipment. Therefore it is a must for the government to make tough decisions,” he said.

Dr Mpango   made the remarks yesterday during the laying of foundation stone for gloves factory at Idofi in Njombe Region which is managed by the Medical Stores Department (MSD).

He said President Samia made the decision for the factories to be built in the country at any cost because the country has shortage of medicines and medical equipment.

“Of the health commodities being imported, 80 per cent is for medicines and 90 per cent is medical devices. We have decided that through MSD these factories must be built,” Dr Mpango said.

“The construction of these factories focuses on improving availability of medicines and medical equipment and cutting down the use of foreign currency and the cost of importing the health commodities,” he noted.

He commended the steps taken in the implementation of the project   which has reached 90 from 30 per cent when President Samia took over the office in March 2021.

“This factory is crucial for meeting internal and external demand. During the Covid-19 outbreak we faced difficulties due to high demand of gloves that emerged. So, President Samia’s vision and intention must be fulfilled,” he insisted.

Dr Mpango noted that plans are underway by the government to increase funding to MSD to construct more factories and warehouses for the objective of further improving availability of medicines and medical equipment.

“I want the factory to start production by next January and this factory will remain here and will be productive. I direct MSD to increase production of other commodities such as medical water and reagents, you should also have   business insight, including embracing patriotism,” he said.

He stressed that all public servants should undergo vetting and take action against those who are being used by traders for personal gains, “when you are entrusted in public institutions you should abide by ethics.”

Dr Mpango however said he spoke to President Samia, after which she directed the Regional Administration and Local Government,   through the Rural and Urban Roads Agency (TARURA), to ensure the access road to the factory which needs 1.4bn/- is constructed at tarmac level.

“This is a message from President Samia I have talked to her and pledged to construct the road … I give two weeks for RALG to complete the assessment for the construction to commence.

For his part, Deputy Minister for Health Dr Godwin Molel said that her docket recognises the reforms being carried out by President Samia in pharmaceutical industries, pledging to move on with efforts to make sure the factory starts operations.

For his part MSD Director General Mavere Tukai said the factory has started preliminary production and is expected to be completed at the end of this year.

He said upon completion the factory will have capacity to produce 20,000 gloves per hour which is equivalent to 10, 000 pairs of gloves thus having the capacity to produce 86,400,000 gloves per year.

 

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