East Africa’s Pharma Industry Pioneer Dies

Tanzania’s pharmaceutical industry is mourning the loss of Mansoor Daya, the man who established the first pharmaceutical factory in the country, and all of East Africa, in 1962.

Daya, who has dedicated his life to the growth of the pharmaceutical sector, passed away yesterday in Dar es Salaam.

“Mansoor Daya was an inspiration,” said the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) in a statement.

“His unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation played a pivotal role not only in the success of his company but also in the advancement of Tanzania’s pharmaceutical industry as a whole.”

Daya in his old age(90s) remained actively involved in the company he founded, Mansoor Daya Chemicals Limited, serving as its Managing Director until his passing.

The Dar es Salaam-based factory has been a cornerstone of Tanzania’s pharmaceutical landscape for over six decades.

In its early years, the factory supplied medicine to neighboring countries like Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, and Zambia. However, it later shifted its focus to meet the demands of the Tanzanian market.

The company currently manufactures around 50 essential pharmaceutical products. Recognizing the need to make medicine more affordable, Mansoor Daya Chemicals Limited recently introduced a line of herbal medicines.

With its humble beginnings just a year after Tanzania gained independence, the factory initially produced only four essential items: aspirin tablets, chloroquine tablets, aspirin phenacetin caffeine compound, and Vitamin B complex tablets.

Today, the factory boasts modern machinery capable of manufacturing over 3 million tablets per shift, supplying medicine to the state-run Medical Stores Department (MSD) as well as hospitals and clinics across Tanzania.

Tanzania currently relies on imports for over 80% of the medicine and medical supplies required for its 62 million people. The government has outlined an ambitious goal to reduce these imports to below 50% by 2030 through increased domestic production.

“In 5-7 years,” Daya, a qualified pharmacist himself, said in a recent media briefing, “my vision is for us to achieve self-sufficiency in many of the essential products we currently import. This will lessen our dependence on foreign exchange.”

Mansoor Daya’s passing leaves a void in Tanzania’s pharmaceutical industry.

MEDICOPRESS is a Non-Governmental Organization that promotes Medical Journalism, Professional Development and Public Health Education. It’s a network of medical scientists and journalists who believe in the dissemination of accurate medical/ health inform information in the process of imparting positive changes in the community.


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