Regional health officer Shija Ganai said the consignment was donated by Red Cross International and entered Tanzania through Nairobi, Kenya “and after inspection, we came to learn that the expiry date was between November 2015 and January 2016.”
He said the canned milk arrived in the region last July and was meant for refugee camps and communities living around them.
The coordinator of the Kigoma branch of the Tanzania Red Cross, Jane Chagie, confirmed the consignment, saying “we were unaware of the expiry dates, luckily no single unit of the canned milk was given to people.”
Chagie said they got the donation of the milk from Nairobi on July 27, 2015 for children with severe malnutrition in refugee camps and Kigoma Regional Hospital.
Chagie said once the donation arrived they inspected it and realised that the milk expiration date was November 2015 and January 2016. After inspection they distributed the milk at Maweni Regional Hospital, Nyarugusu Refugee Camp and Matiazo and after that they stopped distributing it because it had expired, she added.
She said after realising its expiration date, she informed Kigoma regional pharmacist in writing who responded by inquiring about the weight of the consignment. Shortly after, the Kigoma Regional health officer visited the Red Cross office and inspected the milk and found that it had expired. The milk was later destroyed at Kagera area of Kigoma-Ujiji Municipality.
She said after noticing the expiration date she reported the matter accordingly. She said: “We received 4,800,000 boxes of milk flour from Nairobi Red Cross International and distributed 3,320,000 boxed before the expiration date. The remaining 1,570,000 boxes expired after their date was overdue,” she added.