16 August 2017

Tanzania: Red Flags Raised Over Antibiotics

Dodoma — Pharmaceutical specialists have underlined the need for the government to increase awareness campaigns over the growing trend of antibiotic resistance in the country.

According to them, antibiotic resistance is a silent killer that continues to claim lives of a lot of people annually.

They said it was imperative for the government to come up with effective strategies that would address the challenge.

Tanzanian Pharmaceuticals' Association (PST) secretary general Geoffrey Yambayamba said self-medication and self-prescription with antibiotics were among the major challenges.

Mr Yambayamba told The Citizen after cerebrations to mark 30 years of the Tanzania Pharmaceutical Students' Association (TAPSA) in Dodoma recently.

"If not action is not taken, antimicrobial resistance would continue derailing the country's quest for economic development by 2025 by killing the labour force. It's high time the government acted to put this problem under control," he urged.

He called on key stakeholders to come forward and assist Tapsa to conduct wider awareness campaigns around the country in order to attain goals set by the government in National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2017-2022.

For his part, Tapsa' President, Erick Venant appealed for support, saying: "We are facing a financial barrier in running our campaign professionally. We are really strapped for cash," he said.

He said despite going through a rough time, the volunteering association, has so far successful managed to conduct the awareness campaign in at least 11 secondary schools in the regions of Dodoma, Iringa, Morogoro and Dar es Salaam.

As part of the 30th anniversary celebrations, TAPSA donated varied items to patients at the Dodoma-based Mirembe's National Psychiatric Hospital.

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