THE Medical Store Department (MSD) will give preference to the national psychiatric hospital in Dodoma, Mirembe, as it battles the fastest increasing number of mental disorder patients mostly youths in the country.
Latest official figures show that Tanzania has over 800,000 mental patients or two per cent of the entire population having jumped from 136,710 in 2011/12. Dar es Salaam top the list with a large number of mental patient followed by Dodoma while Lindi Region close the list.
Speaking at a handover ceremony of a refurbished pharmacy held at Mirembe Hospital here on Monday, MSD boss Mr Laurean Bwanakunu, said a memorandum of understanding to that effect will be signed.
“Mirembe Hospital will sign MoU with MSDDodoma to allow the latter grant medicine on loan basis. The hospital deal with corporate customers and its fear if we give it special preference,” he said at a ceremony.
If the MoU is signed, Mirembe would be able to access all the needed medicines from the state medical supplier and repay slowly the cost after obtaining its funds from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).
MSD had just responded to the government plea to state agencies to help address challenges that the national psychiatric hospital was facing. It had contracted the state-owned Suma JKT to undertake renovation of the hospital’s pharmacy, fix wiring and roofing.
Mirembe Hospital Director, Dr Erasmus Mndeme, had said earlier that the hospital was facing critical challenges of a place to store medicines as the available one was too dilapidated. “We had to shift all the medicines and store them outside the hospital, yet it was not safe,” he said.
“With this renovation, we will fix the required shelves and procure all the required medicines for the facility.
” The Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya, who handed over the keys to the hospital director, urged MSD to consider building a community outlet to help people access medicines near their surroundings.
He said MSD had been setting up pharmacies across the country, “It is imperative if such efforts are also considered for Mirembe. The government plans to bring service much closer to the people,” he said.