Arusha. At least eleven pharmacies and chemist shops at Ngarenaro, Levolosi and Kaloleni wards in Arusha city have been closed for failure to meet the mandatory audit recently carried out.

According to the city medical officer Dr Simon Chacha, some of the shops operated in premises which do not meet the required standards while others were manned by unqualified people.

"Yet others are operating illegally", he said when he was briefing the media on the recently completed exercise, adding that some pharmacies do not have valid licenses.

Dr Chacha said during the crackdown targeting the three wards, one medical store owner was found operating a clinic in the backyard of his shop without being authorized to do so.

The businessman (name withheld) is also reported to have been examining people on their HIV/Aids status which he says was illegal. The culprit would soon be arraigned to answer charges of operating a medical facility illegally.

"He had been examining pregnant women from the precints of the Kilombelo wholesale market. That is an improper place to do this given its filthy conditions", he pointed out.

The city medical officer called on people intending to open pharmacy shops to follow the laid down conditions and that they should visit him in order to be briefed on what to do.

On his part, the city pharmacist Zephania Mtaturu said one of the conditions for the pharmacies and chemist shops was that they should not be located in noisy and congested sections of the city.

He recommended they be located on the fringes of the central business district (CBD) or in the peri-urban areas where patients needing briefing on the use of the drugs can be attended.

"Only the wholesale medical stores should be located in the CBD because here there is no counselling on the drugs", he said, adding that they would have no mercy on the pharmacies and allied stores operating in unhygenic premises.

A health officer with the Levolosi health centre Allen Sumari said medical practitioners delivering health services in unauthorized places such as the backyard of their residence would be apprehended.