By Felix Andrew
THE Tanzanian government had refused to put morphine drug which is used by cancer patients, in its National essential drug list, the Deputy Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Hamis Kigwangala has told the House in Dodoma today.
He was responding to a supplementary question raised by Mary Chatanda, Korogwe urban legistlator (CCM) who wanted to understand availability of drugs which are supplied by Medical Stores Department (MSD) and put the said kit into national essential drug list.
“Most cancer patient experience problem in getting this drug, why do not government put it under national essential drug list?” The MP asked.
Responding, Deputy Minister Kigwangala,said it is not possible to put the said drug into essential list.
“This is one of controlled drug which need special permit on its usage and preservation, otherwise it can harm a patient," he said.
Expounding, Dr Kigwangala said the government is striving to ensure that availability of medicine reach 85 percent by next year.
He said current there was no shortage of medicine in various public hospitals as it was previously announced by media.
He noted that availability of medicines depends on geographical location of a specific district.
However it was reported last year that supply of drugs to public hospitals is being hampered by serious shortage of funds after the government provided only minor per cent of the money that MSD needs.
Under funding has immensely weakened MSD's ability to procure supplies for use in public hospitals, health centres and dispensaries, led to a countrywide shortage of medicine.
According to Deputy Minister Kigwangala, up moment availability of essential medicines in various regional and district hospitals stands at 80 percent.