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Market uptake of pharmaceutical staff - Operational research

By Henry Mazunda

Feb 19, 2022

HPSS is conducting a study on the market uptake of pharmacy dispensers- a National Accreditation Council for Technical Education (NACTE) approved cadre of basic pharmaceutical staff in Tanzania, promoted to support medicine management in primary health facilities. Data collectors are in the field for informant interviews.

Public primary health facilities, face critical shortage of qualified staff, resulting in inefficient use of resources. One of the areas in Tanzania that are highly affected by inadequate human resources for health is the pharmaceutical subsector, specifically at the primary health care service level. The capacity to deliver quality pharmaceutical or health care services depends on having a sufficient, competent, and flexible pharmaceutical workforce that is able to deliver the pharmaceutical and medicine related services needed. Pharmacy dispensers undergo a one-year modular training at the St. John`s University of Tanzania, accredited by the Pharmacy Council and NACTE.

Studies have observed that the shortage of pharmaceutical personnel is also due to uneven distribution of available staff. The slow government uptake of existing pharmacy dispensers to provide services at primary health care facilities, compounded by poor recognition, unattractive payment package and lack of sufficient support and equipping this cadre, leads to low motivation and refusal to seek employment with the government.

This study explores dispenser graduates' labour market uptake to understand better where graduates choose to work or find appropriate job opportunities. The findings will also be used to improve the pharmacy dispenser curriculum to meet the real demand for pharmaceutical care in Tanzania.

The HPSS study started in February 2022 with the principal investigator Dr. Romuald Mbwasi (senior lecturer at St. John’s University of Tanzania), Co-Investigators from MoH and PORALG and pharmacy trained data collectors. Interviews are conducted in three regions including Dar es Salaam.


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