U.S. Government Calls on Government of Tanzania to Expand Investments in Health Commodities

A health care worker conducts physical inventory in a health facility in Kinondoni District.
A health care worker conducts physical inventory in a health facility in Kinondoni District. (Photo: Courtesy of USAID Tanzania)
A health care worker conducts physical inventory in a health facility in Kinondoni District. (Photo: Courtesy of USAID Tanzania)

June 1, 2016 – Speaking today at an end-of-project event in Dar es Salaam for the Supply Chain Management System  (SCMS) and USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Health Office Director Janean Davis emphasized the need for the Government of Tanzania to prioritize health commodities and the national public health supply chain. The event marked 10 years of supply chain strengthening in Tanzania and showcased the projects’ most successful interventions that will be key to building momentum around supply chain management.

“On behalf of USAID, I am pleased that the Government of Tanzania allocated funds toward health commodities, and urge the various ministries represented here to ensure that funds from your respective health budgets are disbursed toward that goal,” Davis said. “Consistent, transparent supplies and distribution networks for medicine and equipment are one of the keys to unlocking a healthier, more prosperous future for Tanzania.”

SCMS and USAID | DELIVER — working in concert with Tanzania’s Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children, the Ministry of Health in Zanzibar, and other health commodity supply chain stakeholders — have been procuring health commodities and providing technical assistance in supply chain management for the past decade, helping to make health commodity supply chains in Tanzania more effective and efficient.

This technical assistance was made possible through USAID under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative. Collectively, as of March 2016, the two projects had invested more than $466 million to strengthen Tanzania’s health commodity supply chain, including the procurement of more than $375 million worth of medicine and equipment to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. This amount also included $67 million in reproductive and maternal health commodities.

The projects’ interventions have had visible impact at all levels, from program management at the national level to end users at the approximately 5,000 service delivery points in Tanzania. Among the results highlighted on Wednesday were strengthening data usage for timely policy decision making; ensuring the efficacy of medicines by improving storage facilities and commodity management practices; and improving organizational capacity to sustainably manage the health commodity supply chain in Tanzania.

Systems strengthening at the local government level and country ownership were two key themes at the end-of-project event, with stakeholders presenting lessons learned on what works to sustainably strengthen health systems in service of consistent, accountable supply chains. An interactive marketplace exhibition prior to the event gave participants a forum to discuss best practices for capacity building.

“These projects have worked hand in hand with the Ministry to strengthen Tanzania’s health system in providing innovative and sustainable supply chain solutions,” said Dr. Mpoki Ulisubisya, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children. “Today we join hands in reflecting on a decade of partnership that has led to the strengthening of pharmaceutical supply chains, saving lives both here in mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar.”

To request more information about this event, please email Japhet Sanga (SangaJJ@state.gov), Senior Information Specialist at U.S. Embassy Dar es Salaam.