A massive rot allegedly involving billions of shillings has been uncovered in the Health Sector of Tanzania.
A committee formed to probe financial activities of the ministry has disclosed in its findings that the Tanzanian government was grossly shortchanged, losing up to Sh26.7 billion through unscrupulous deals in procurement and distribution of medicines and medical equipment.
The findings of the committee were made public in Dar es Salaam on Monday, March 1, 2021, exactly a month after the committee was formed on February 1 with the mandate of investigating complaints regarding lack of medicines and medical equipment in government hospitals.
As a result of fraudulent acts uncovered, the committee has recommended in its report that
there should be change on the management teams of those involved in the process.
The committee also called for a thorough investigation to be conducted to identify those responsible for the losses.
It would be recalled that the
committee was formed with the aim of responding to complains that hospitals were lacking medicine and medical equipment despite the governing raising its procurement budget [for medicines and medical equipment] from Sh31 billion during the FY-2015/16 to Sh270 billion presently.
Among other things, the committee discovered that some equipment did not reach the intended health facilities while some medicines were being bought without approval from the drugs committee and as a result, some end up getting expired.
The committee further discovered that many hospitals lacked statistics on the number of patients who receive treatment under government’s exemption policy.
Tanzania Health Minister, Dorothy Gwajima, who read the findings of the committee in Dar es Salam, explained that the committee investigated 28 referral hospitals.
According to her, at those 28 referral hospitals, the committee found out that the were a lot of negligence, theft and deliberate ignorance of procurement laws.
She assured that “We will work on all the issues as highlighted by the committee…we will leave no stone unturned….Our goal is to know how the drugs have been utilised.”
By Melvin Tarlue