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Tanzanian pharmacists refute claims of substandard drugs

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The Pharmaceutical Society of Tanzania (PST) on Saturday refuted recent claims by the Medical Stores Department (MSD) that most locally manufactured medicines were substandard.

PST President Michael Kishiwa said there were no problems with the quality of locally produced drugs apart from low production volumes.

Kishiwa said claims made by the MSD Director General Laurean Bwanakunu that locally produced drugs were substandard lacked both statistics and proof.

“We have never received any claims from our suppliers or the government in the course of implementing our duties as pharmacists,” he told Xinhua by phone.

Last week, the MSD Director General Bwanakunu told the Parliamentary Committee on HIV/AIDS that many locally produced medicines were substandard.

He told the committee while discussing performance reports of MSD and the National Aids Control Program (NACP) that MSD had entered into contracts with local drug producers but the products were of poor quality.

The MSD chief called for the need to attract investors who have large capital in the field to overcome the challenge. 



At least 40 Tanzanian women, children to benefit from free surgeries

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- At least 40 women and children in Tanzania will undergo free breast and constructive surgeries from Nov. 3 to Nov. 5, organizers said on Friday.

The surgeries will be done under phase three of the Women for Women Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Project, a two-year charity collaboration between the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam, the Muhimbili National Hospital and Women for Women, an international nonprofit humanitarian organization that provides practical and moral support to women.

A statement by the Aga Khan Hospital said: “Women and children who have deformities resulting from violence, burns and accidents are going to retain their smile, happiness and comfort as soon as we accomplish this exercise.”

The statement said the 40 women and children lined up for the surgeries were selected during two-month campaigns on televisions, radios and social and print media after they had undergone free medical screening.

In November last year, the second phase of the project was done by surgeons from the United States, Canada and Europe in collaboration with Tanzania local medical professionals where 37 women and children were operated on.

“Through these surgeries, the teams assist patients by restoring physical function and appearance,” said the statement.

It added: “In doing so, it helps to improve overall self-confidence and more importantly improve the quality of life for these patients.”

It was also the goal of this collaboration to share and enhance surgical expertise in Tanzania and address the medical need of plastic and reconstructive surgery across the country.


Tanzania commends Chinese doctors for treating over 15 mln people

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian Minister for Health, Ummy Mwalimu, has commended Chinese medical doctors assigned to the East African nation for providing service for more than 15 million people.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the commendable services these doctors have been providing to the people who received their services,” said Mwalimu on Friday night at a farewell reception to the 24th China medical team in Tanzania who has accomplished their mission

Since 1968 China has been sending teams of doctors to work in Tanzania. The doctors worked at the Muhimbili National Hospital and at the country’s regional hospitals in Dodoma, Tabora and Mara, according to the minister.

“I hope that in future more Chinese doctors will be sent to Tanzania to provide the much-needed specialist services,” said Mwalimu.

She said the Tanzanian government has embarked on a mission to stop sending patients outside the country for treatment.

Wang Ke, the Chinese ambassador to Tanzania, said by 2017, 24 Chinese medical team with 1,080 doctors have been sent to Tanzania.

She said the Chinese doctors have been to all regions of Tanzania, including the remotest to provide medical services to 15 million people.

Wang said besides the Chinese medical teams, the Chinese government supported Tanzania in the construction of the state-of-the-art Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute, which came into operation in September 2012.



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