The Citizen (Dar es Salaam)

27 February 2012

Tanzania: Agencies Put Public Health At Big Risk

Dar es Salaam — Members of the public are at serious health risks because two government agencies responsible for ensuring citizens' health are 'negligent,' non-governmental organisation, Sikika, has asserted.

The Tanzania Bureau of Standard (TBS) and Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), have allegedly failed to destroy all substandard goods as cited in the recent Controller and Audit General (CAG) report to Parliament, Sikika's executive director, Mr Irenei Kiria, said yesterday.

Sikika has called on the ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the ministry of Industry, Trade and Marketing to direct the two agencies to act immediately by destroying all fake goods.

The report mentions a number of substandard products which were circulating in the market with the full knowledge of TBS which include drinks, margarine, cooking oils, and various soaps and shampoos.

"It is scandalous that the respective agencies charged with the responsibility of protecting citizens from hazardous substandard products, have been negligent in their duties," he said.

Sikika also called on the government and the relevant ministries to implement recommendations given in the CAG report, which includes a total overhaul of the TBS management.

The CAG's report presented to the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the Public Organisations Accounts Committee (POAC) and the Parliamentary Committee for Industry and Trade, pointed out that goods worth Sh1.8 billion found to be substandard, sneaked into the market.

The goods had been inspected by the TBS and found to be unfit for human use and consumption. The CAG report added that although TBS deemed the goods to be substandard, there was insufficient evidence that it took appropriate steps to have the goods destroyed or sent back to their countries of origin.

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