Govt out to improve data collection system in health sector

16Oct 2019
Getrude Mbago
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Govt out to improve data collection system in health sector

THE government has acknowledged that lack of effective data collection and analysis system which is critical for supply of essential medicines is one of the major challenges facing health sector in the country.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday when opening the three-day Health Supply Chain Summit 2019, deputy minister for Health, Community Development, Gender Elderly and Children Dr Faustine Ndugulile said the government is now engaging stakeholders to mobilize resources to improve such a system.

This year’s summit is themed “Future of Tanzania Health Supply Chain Performance; Driven by Data and Innovations.

Dr Ndugulile said that in Tanzania, the supply chain landscape is characterized by a number of government and non-governmental partners working to designs, oversee and implement various components to improve the medical commodities supply chain.

He noted that quality data in supply chain management is key to ensuring that medical commodities are available in health centres on time.

He underscored the need for stakeholders to work together as a team to support the government’s agenda which include improving data collection and analysis in health supply chain management.

“It is high time we work together to ensure that we improve data, capacitate our departments from national to lower level to be able to predict the actual needs of essential medicines…We need to ensure that all relevant systems are well linked to communicate for better supply of the health commodities. This has remained challenge to most of our health centres,” he said.

Dr Ndugulile further said that the government has been putting more emphasis on financing of the health sector on both accessibility and health delivery to the people.

“We have improve the Medical Stores Department (MSD) by ensuring that we provide it with all key need such as transport to make sure that medical commodities reach health facilities on time fior better provision of health services,” he said

For her part, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative, Jacqueline Mahon said also hinted on the importance of strengthening collaborations and partnerships towards having an improved health supply chain management in the country for sustainable development.

She noted that a stronger health supply chain will contribute to a stronger health care delivery system which in turn contributes to the well-being of the population and hence more productivity, less medical expenses and eventually better environment for development.

Government chief pharmacist Daudi Msasi added that the government was finalizing a guideline to ensure that there is good flow and supply of medical commodities in the country.

“We are now focusing more on quality of data, creating strong systems to monitor medical commodities supply chain for better health services,” he added.

Commenced yesterday, the summit will be conducted for three days bringing together over 300 health experts and stakeholders with the aim of seeking best ways of improving health commodities supply chain in the country.

The summit will also look and discuss more on the most notable challenges facing the promotion of data use and innovation in Tanzania and promising opportunities leverage these tools towards improved health supply chain performance.