Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) celebrates its 10th anniversary

The Guest of Honour, the Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Hon. Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, in a group photo with members from the high table and members of the Parliamentary Social Services Committee
The Guest of Honour, the Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Hon. Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, in a group photo with members from the high table and members of the Parliamentary Social Services Committee

“Together let us combat sub-standard and counterfeit products to protect our health” was the call made when the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) celebrated its tenth anniversary on 17th October, 2013.

The occasion was officiated by the Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Hon. Dr. Hussein Mwinyi; the Director General for TFDA, Mr Hiiti Sillo; the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Social Services Committee, Hon. Magareth Sitta, Members of Ministerial Advisory Board and the WHO Representative, Dr. Rufaro Chatora. Others present included: Members of the Parliamentary Social Services Committee, TFDA board members, senior management officials from TFDA, representatives from the private sector, development partners including staff from WHO and members of the media.

The Minister for Health and Social Welfare in his speech commended TFDA management and staff for demonstrating exemplary leadership in fulfilling its role to protect and promote public health by ensuring quality, safety and effectiveness of food, medicines, cosmetics and medical devices. “While we congratulate you for these achievements, the government challenges you to scale up the efforts to the district level in the next decade” said the Minister. He further urged the general public to support TFDA efforts in the fight against substandard and counterfeit medicines, drugs, cosmetics and medical supplies through timely reporting of availability of the products in the market. The Minister concluded by appreciating the financial and technical contributions from government and non-governmental institutions including development partners to the success of TFDA. He affirmed government’s commitment to support TFDA realize its mission and vision.

The Director General for TFDA, Mr Hiiti Sillo in his welcome remarks highlighted progress made by TFDA over the decade in carrying out its functions as a regulatory authority. Some of the achievements stated include: Expansion of TFDA Laboratory Building, WHO pre-qualification of TFDA Medicines Laboratory and Accreditation of Food Laboratory for compliance with ISO standards. Highlighting the challenges, Mr. Sillo said “TFDA is facing shortages in financial and human resources to realize its mission and vision in the country”. He concluded by urging the government to support TFDA address the diverse challenges and accelerate efforts to enable the authority carry out its functions efficiently.

On behalf of the parliamentarians, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Social Services Committee, Hon. Magareth Sitta congratulated TFDA for the achievements attained and for choosing a timely theme. She echoed areas for improvement highlighted in the welcome remarks by the TFDA Director General and urged the government to review the Tanzania Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 2003 to include heavy punitive measures for the unscrupulous traders who supply counterfeit medicines in the markets.

Dr. Rufaro Chatora, WHO Representative, delivered his message on behalf of the development partners in Tanzania. He began by congratulating the TFDA for achievements attained saying “We have noted with satisfaction the improved capacity of the Authority to deliver and the increased transparency and dialogue with stakeholders and Members of the Public in particular”. He noted contributions of partners to the Government and TFDA through financial and technical support in capacity building of staff, development of guidelines, building of laboratory services and further development of regulatory framework in both medicines and food safety control. Highlighting on the challenges faced by TFDA, Dr Chatora said “The ever increasing globalization, emerging and re-emerging diseases and rapidly changing technology place heavy demands on the regulatory system and knowledge base. The regulation of vaccines, biological technologies and herbal medicines also present special challenges to the authority”. He concluded by affirming the commitment of WHO and Development Partners to continue supporting TFDA in addressing the stated challenges and move to an even more successful future.

During the ceremony, the Minister participated in a number of activities including:

- Tour to exhibition booths

- Launching of an advocacy song to combat sub-standard and counterfeit products

- Launching of the TFDA booklet on the achievements made over the decade

- Presenting awards and certificates to long-serving staff, management and board members and international organizations for their contribution to the successes of TFDA

Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) celebrates its 10th anniversary [pdf: 748.3 kB]