In June, Tanzania’s Parliament moved to endorse a special provision in the recently-passed Public Procurement Act (2016) that will fast-track life-saving health commodities, including contraceptives. Beginning this year, life-saving health commodities will receive priority throughout the procurement and distribution process. Family planning stakeholders advocated for the past two years for improvements to alleviate bottlenecks in the procurement process and help reduce contraceptive stock-outs in the country.
Members of Parliament were locked in a protracted debate over the provision during the recently- ended budget session, whereby those in favor of the special provision carried the day. Led by the Parliamentary Budget Committee, Members of Parliament drew links between delays in procuring and delivery of contraceptives to unwanted pregnancies.
The special provision will address delays in the procurement process, ensure minimum overlap in the roles of government institutions serving in this process, as well as contribute to reducing life-saving commodities costs.