The new Prime Vendor System (PSV) is aimed at alleviating drugs availability problems through a complementary supply network under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) venture tied to a pooled regional approach.
A pilot PSV phase was launched in Dodoma, Morogoro and Shinyanga regions back in 2014 and proved a 98 per cent success, allowing for much-improved medicines availability in health centres and sparking the need for a countrywide scale-up.
Speaking at the system’s official launch ceremony in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Minister of State in the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Governments), Suleiman Jafo, said the new system is expected to solve a drugs shortage problem that has become almost life-threatening in the country.
“This is a unique program that will remove bureaucracy in filling drugs availability gaps in health centres,” said the minister.
According to the head of the health commodities and services department in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Mathew Mganga, MSD’s capability to supply medicines ranges between 60 to 70 per cent.
Dar es Salaam regional medical officer Dr Grace Maghembe cited past problems like when a certain process to get adequate medicines stock took more than 16 signatures and up to 90 days delivery time for much-needed drugs.
She also cited an analysis that showed health centres used more than 1 billion/- to purchase drugs through petty cash payments.
The PSV project is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (SWISS-TPH).
Contractual agreements were yesterday signed between Dar es Salaam’s Temeke, Kinondoni and Ilala municipal authorities and a number of local vendors selected to handle the actual drugs supplies to health centres.