Promoting Community Health Awareness through ADDOs in Tanzania

In Tanzania, Accredited Drug Dispensing Outlets (ADDO), private drug dispensers, are increasing access to quality pharmaceutical products and services in under-served, often rural areas of Tanzania through the use of regulation, training, and supervision. The program, through support from the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), focuses on improving training and dispensing practices at retail outlets and improving regulatory enforcement to assure product quality.

The ADDO program is a successful and innovative public–private partnership increasing rural Tanzanians’ access to quality nonprescription medicines and some prescription medicines, including those used for treating microbial infections. Besides dispensing essential medicines to clients, these trained and accredited ADDO dispensers offer a unique opportunity to provide important health information, including medicine counseling, to their clients.

Making use of the ADDO platform, the TFDA is collaborating with the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) program led by MSH to implement a community-oriented antimicrobial resistance (AMR) awareness and containment program in the Kilosa district of Morogoro Region in Tanzania.

The program aims to improve ADDO dispensers’ skills and capacity to educate and counsel their customers while dispensing antimicrobials. Over 2000 AMR posters, 300 dispensing guides, and 300 AMR table tents/flip-charts have been printed and distributed to ADDOs, nearby health facilities, and the community to increase awareness. Over 100 rubber stamps have also been distributed to the ADDOs to ensure correct labeling of medicines.

SPS conducted sensitization and orientation seminars on the AMR initiative, in collaboration with TFDA and members of the District Health Management Team, for 84 prescribers in district health facilities, 124 ADDO dispensers, and 8 members of the district Council Health Management Team. Supervision and follow-up visits have been made to 93 of 131 ADDOs in the district.

The SPS program builds capacity within resource-limited countries to effectively manage pharmaceutical systems, successfully implement USAID priority services, and ultimately save lives and protect the public's health by improving access to and use of medicines of assured quality. SPS is dedicated to helping countries strengthen their existing pharmaceutical systems by customizing and implementing proven tools and approaches to achieve better medicines management and use.