Christian Social Services Commission (CSSC) is committed to working with pharmacy training stakeholders in Tanzania to improve the pharmacy education and provision of clinical pharmacy services at the health facilities in the country through Multi – Actors Project for Improving Training in Pharmacy (MAP – ITRAP) in collaboration with Action Medeor e.v and Pharmacy Council of Tanzania. Since its implementation, the project has managed to join hands with other pharmaceutical stakeholders including regulatory authorities, relevant ministries, pharmaceutical professional schools and stakeholders of pharmaceutical profession to discuss the development and challenges of pharmaceutical education and agree on actions to improve the sector through dialogue. The group is commonly known among pharmaceutical profession as the RoundTable who conducts their meetings bi-annually.
Inadequate availability of the pharmacy training institutions in the peripheral parts of the country was posed by Ministry of Health in one of the RoundTable in 2020 and was agreed to support the establishment of the pharmacy training institution in Katavi region for provision of NTA level 4 – 6 Pharmacy training.
Christian Social Services Commission and Action Medeor e.v through financial support from the German medical organization known as Sartorius supported the construction of a new classroom with a capacity to accommodate 102 students and also renovated compounding laboratory with a capacity to accommodate 25 students.
The construction and renovation of the classroom and compounding laboratory followed the Ministry of Health and Pharmaceutical council quality of standards and was handed over to the government on January 14, 2022. The handover event was held at Mpanda College of Health and Allied Science and was graced by the Katavi Regional Commissioner, Hon. Mwanamvua Mrindoko as the guest of honor. In attendance, there were other senior government officials including the Director of training from the Ministry of health, Katavi Regional Administrative secretary, Ag. District commissioner for Mpanda District and Mayor for Mpanda Municipal council.
Speaking during the handing over event the Mpanda Catholic Diocese Bishop, Bishop Euzebius Nzigilwa said “We are serving the community spiritually and also we have a duty to serve the community socially in education, health and infrastructures to ensure their wellbeing.”
The Guest of honor, Hon. Mwanamvua Mrindoko commended CSSC for providing this invaluable support to the Government of Tanzania and advised college administration and students to use the facilities well to perform their studies academically so as to be able to compete in the labor market.
“I would like to commend this support provided by CSSC. Now students you have been provided with all the resources to study well and excel in your academics, use them well and stop applying illegal strategies to pass your exams.”
This initiative has contributed to the Ministry of Health efforts to reopen the institution and establish pharmaceutical education after 24 years of not being in service. Mpanda college of health and allied science started officially in 1974 and was closed in 1996 due to lack of infrastructures and was reopened again in November 2020. Currently about 50 students who were enrolled for pharmaceutical education in the institute on November 2020 are using the compounding laboratory and the multipurpose 102-capacity classroom.
The Principal of Mpanda Institute of Health and Allied Science, Lightness Michael said “This classroom has enabled us to increase enrollment of from 50 to 78 students in the 2021/2022 academic year which is an increase of 28 students than previous year of 2020/2021. Despite this remarkable achievement, the college continues to face other critical challenges such as lack of reference books, shortage of teachers and office space for teachers.”
Christian Social Services and its partners, Action Medeor e.v and Pharmacy Council of Tanzania are aiming to ensure improvement of pharmacy education to create competent and highly qualified pharmacists in the country through a recognized RoundTable, improved pharmaceutical education curriculum, digitalization and compliance of quality standards in the institutes as well as improved provision and practice of quality clinical pharmacy services at the health facilities by 2023.