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HEALTHCARE: New study seeks to improve access to essential medicines

Oct. 24, 2023 9:00
HEALTHCARE: New study seeks to improve access to essential medicines
Pharmacist at IHI's Clinical Trials Facility in Bagamoyo. Photo credit: Ifakara KMC

Ifakara Health Institute (Ifakara) has kicked off a new study which aims to assess the Tanzania's pharmaceutical management system, its capacity for domestic pharmaceutical manufacturing, and its ability to manufacture essential medicines. 

In the next 12 months (October 1, 2023 - September 30, 2024), Ifakara Health Institute’s research team led by Principal Investigator, Dr. Omar Juma and Project Leader, Dr. Abdallah Mkopi will collect data, analyze findings, and develop recommendations for appropriate evidence-based next steps.

The study, whose kick off meeting was held in Dar es Salaam early this month, is expected to contribute to Tanzania's efforts to increase access to essential medication.

Why this study

Access to crucial medicines is crucial for a country's healthcare. In Tanzania, the availability of good-quality medicine can greatly affect people's health. The Pharm Study by the IHI is seeking to understand how Tanzania manages its medicines, if it can manufacture its own medicines, and if it can produce essential medicines. This research aims to help Tanzania offer better access to crucial medications, and improve the health of its people.

Study settings, partners

The Pharm Study, led by the Ifakara Health Institute and supported by Tsinghua University, will involve evaluating pharmaceutical manufacturers to understand their capacity for local medicine production and examining healthcare facilities in Bagamoyo, Temeke, and Ilala.

The study will also involve Ifakara collaborating with the Medical Stores Department (MSD) for procurement and distribution insights, engaging with the Tanzania Medical and Drug Authority (TMDA) to improve regulatory frameworks, and collaborating with research institutions like the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) to all contribute their expertise and resources for a thorough assessment.