Factors Affecting the Availability of Essential Health Commodities in Tanzania with a Special Focus on the Tracer Commodities

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa



Accessto essential health commodities is fundamental tohealthcare system efficacy. These commodities are vitalin delivering health services and formintegral elements within the World Health Organization's strengthening framework, encompassingthe six foundational building blocks. Regrettably, there has been a global increasein shortages and stockouts of essential health commodities in recent years.


The study aimed to identifyfactors influencingthe availability of essential health commodities throughout all levels of the supply chain in Tanzania.


A cross-sectional convergent parallel mixed method study that employed both qualitative and quantitative data collection techniqueswas conducted. Quantitative data were analyzed using STATA version 16, whilequalitative datawere thematicallyanalyzed.Results: Factors contributing to stockoutsof essential commodities at the national level includedincreased demand, delayed shipments from donors, decreased funding commitments, delayed disbursement of funds, global shortages, inadequate governance, debt within the Medical Stores Department, donor dependency for vertical programmecommodities, and long lead times by Medical Stores Department’ssuppliers. At the regional and district levels, such factors include a shortage of human resources, lack of electronic medical records, limited interoperability of information systems, poor quality of logistics data, inadequate use of data for decision-making, and poor inventory management.At the healthcare facility level,factors included;an overwhelming number of exempted clients, which reducesfacility revenues.


More efforts are still needed to address both the upstream and downstream challenges requiredto ensure sustainable access and availability of essential health commodities at service delivery points,as a pathway for improving health sector performance.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Tanzania Journal of Health Research



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Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.