Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Netherlands to Help 37 Hospitals

THE Netherlands will donate modern diagnostic equipment to 37 hospitals in the country in a move that will also see the improvement of maternal health services.

This follows an agreement for a grant for a project worth 23 million Euros (about 66bn/-). Speaking after signing the agreement with The Netherlands, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr Ramadhani Khijjah, said the project will cover seven district hospitals, 23 regional hospitals and seven zonal or specialized hospitals.

"The comprehensive scheme, which is known as the extension of the project of the Rehabilitation of Diagnostic Services will focus on provision of diagnostic equipment, infrastructural works and technical assistance. This includes a five-year maintenance programme," he said.

Mr Khijjah pointed out that 50 per cent of the project is eligible for an ORIO Grant funded by The Netherlands and the remaining 50 per cent (about 33bil/-) will be financed by the Tanzanian government. "The radio-diagnostic and ultrasound services in the hospitals will be upgraded and digitalized so that every hospital performs all necessary diagnostic prosedures," he said.

Mr Khijjah said that the zonal hospitals will be equipped with modern CT Scan machines in order to perform specific medical diagnostics. "Obstetric services in all hospitals will be improved and more than 700 medical staff will be trained so they acquire the latest skills with regards to X-ray, ultrasound and CT scan diagnostics, emergence obstetric and newborn care," he said.

On his part, The Netherlands Ambassador, Dr Ad Koekkoek, said that his country funds the project via the Orio grant facility. He added that this facility contributes to development, implementation, operation and maintenance of public infrastructure in selected developing countries.

"The comprehensive Netherlands support programme to the health services is mainly focused on increasing and strengthening the service delivery of council health services and central support systems," he said. He noted that specific investments are also directed at improving family planning, sexual reproductive health and rights, HIV, malaria and fistula control.

He also said that a large contribution has recently been provided to assist the construction of the CCBRT referral maternity hospital in the city. "Although The Netherlands is currently phasing out its bi-lateral support, Orio and other programmes will continue to support the health sector in Tanzania," said Dr Koekkoek.

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