We should call for more investors   in pharmaceutical industry

10Jul 2018
Editor
The Guardian
We should call for more investors   in pharmaceutical industry

DRUG trafficking poses a growing problem in Africa. Increasing flows of illicit drugs threaten good governance, peace and security, economic growth and public health.

Failure to address this threat risks undermining the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s investments and thwarting U.S. government objectives on the continent.

In recognition of the issue, USAID’s Africa Bureau initiated research in 2011 on the development causes and consequences of drug trafficking and potential programmatic responses. The resulting programming guide aims to help USAID, other development actors, and other U.S government personnel understand the relationship between drug trafficking and development assistance and seek ways to mitigate any negative impacts.

At a minimum, development actors should undertake crime-sensitive programming that ensures their efforts do no harm. Where possible, development actors should consider programming targeted to counter the flow of drugs (e.g., anticorruption efforts or judicial reform) or programming to ameliorate the impacts of drug trafficking, such as demand reduction programmes including prevention and treatment.

This guide first focuses on identifying the development challenge in Africa. The second section addresses the political economy analysis that will inform what type of programming is appropriate and which actors are appropriate partners for development efforts.

In the same vein, a Chinese investor is planning to build a 45 billion/- pharmaceutical plant in the country.

The firm had already held talks with two cabinet ministers and the head of the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) to lay the groundwork for the project.

The Shanghai-based Fosunpharma company intends to, among other things, produce one of the best anti-malaria injection drugs dubbed Artesun to help in the national war against the disease.

According to the Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ummy Mwalimu, the project will come as a great relief to the government which spends over 90 per cent of its drugs budget to purchase pharmaceutical products from abroad through the Medical Stores Department (MSD).

We are told that it is only 6 per cent of the budget allocated for drugs that is spent locally, with the remaining 94 per cent of the funds going to imported purchases.

The construction of the drugs factory within the country will also reduce the time spent in accessing the drugs, because currently it can take up to six months for imported medicines to arrive in the country.

There is no doubt that the project is a milestone in the country’s industrialisation drive, and called for more investors in the pharmaceutical industry.

We commend the Tanzanian ambassador to China, Mbelwa Kairuki, for his efforts to bring Fosunpharma to the country. It can be done, let us play our part.

Fosunpharma president and CEO William Wu said the company was proud to invest in the local pharmaceutical industry because human health is key to having a productive nation.

The managing director of Fosunpharma subsidiary company Gullin Pharmaceuticals Tanzania Ltd, Dr Ashok Kumar, said the task now is to secure 10 to 12 acres of land where the plant will be built.

The plant is expected to produce enough medicines to meet domestic demand, along with a surplus for export.

TIC director general Geoffrey Mwambe said the agency will work closely with the investors to ensure that all the required procedures are followed and construction begin as planned.

“We have provided them with correct information on investment tax issues, and also informed them of other investment opportunities in the country,” Mwambe said.

 

Leaders should swing into action to  reduce impact of injuries and deaths

 

ROAD traffic crashes are a leading cause of death in our country. Throughout the world, roads are shared by cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, mopeds, pedestrians, animals, taxis and other categories of travelers. Travel made possible by motor vehicles supports economic and social development in many countries and Tanzania is no exception. Yet each year, these vehicles are involved in crashes that are responsible for millions of deaths and injuries.

Each year, 1.25 million people are killed on roadways around the world. Each day, an estimated 3,400 people are killed globally in road traffic crashes involving cars, buses, motorcycles, bicycles, trucks, or pedestrians. Half of those people killed in crashes globally are pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists.

Road traffic injuries are estimated to be the eighth leading cause of death globally and the leading cause of death for young people aged 15–29.

Current trends show that by 2030, road traffic injuries will become the seventh leading cause of death globally.

Road traffic injuries place a huge economic burden on low- and middle-income countries and are estimated to cost US $518 billion globally and US $65 billion in low-income and middle-income countries, exceeding the total amount received in development assistance.

Motor vehicle crashes are a public health concern both abroad and in Tanzania. These injuries and deaths are preventable. Whether you are a driver, passenger, cyclist, or pedestrian, take the following steps to stay safe on the road. Use a seat belt in every seat, on every trip, no matter how short. Make sure children are always properly buckled in the back seat in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt, whichever is appropriate for their age, height, and weight. Choose not to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, and help others do the same. Obey speed limits. Drive without distractions (such as using a cell phone or texting).

Statistics released by Police in Dar es Salaam indicate that road accidents and traffic offences in the city increased 2016, compared to the previous year 2015.

According to the statistics 2016 had 5,219 accidents compared to 3,710 in 2015, an increase of 35 per cent.   The deaths in road accidents last year were 325 while in 2015 a total of 316 people died in such mishaps.

The increase was equivalent to 2.5 per cent. Last year road accident injuries were 4,066 compared to 654 in 2015, the increase was equivalent to 16 per cent. According to report traffic offences committed last year were 769,170 compared to 386,963 offences in 2015.

The increase was equivalent to 49.6 per cent. The fines collected due to the offences last year amounted to 23,065,020,000/- compared to 11,608,700,000/- raised in 2015 which was an increase equivalent to 49.6 per cent.  

One day after President John Magufuli unfavourably mentioned Mbeya Region for its continual deadly road accidents, the region’s leaders appear to have swung into action in a bid to reverse the trend.

The region’s defence and security committee, chaired by regional commissioner Amos Makalla, held an emergency meeting here yesterday and came up with resolutions that will see changes in the use of roads within the region.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam recently after swearing-in newly appointed state officials, President Magufuli singled out Mbeya as a region notorious for road accidents, and pointedly told the regional authorities to take action.

The president also cited the Home Affairs Ministry’s slackness in dealing with the problem of reckless driving being a main cause of the increasing rate of road accidents in the country.

Our regional authorities should work closely with the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) and Tanzania Rural-Urban Road Agency (TARURA) to improve dilapidated roads in the region and reduce their contribution to accidents.

 

 

 

 

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