6 January 2013

Tanzania: Zanzibar Needs More Medical Professionals

Zanzibar — AS Zanzibar opens more dispensaries and hospitals for easy access to patients, the ministry of health has been asked to produce more healthcare professionals to minimize the shortage in the islands.

"It is good that we have more health centres, thus, solving the problem of seeking medical services in distant locations, but the challenge is we cannot have many hospitals without staff," the Second Vice-President, Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi said.

He said this at Sebleni Centre for the elderly where he laid a foundation stone for the extension of a clinic building, saying: "We need nurses and doctors to serve the people more efficiently."

Ambassador Iddi said that due to increasing population in the islands, it was necessary to have more health centres closer to residential areas to minimize congestion at referral hospitals.

"I appeal to the Ministry of Health to do everything possible to have more nurses and other medical professionals to help the people. We need to discourage unnecessary congestion in big hospitals by making sure that minor health problems are handled at local clinics and dispensaries," Amb. Iddi said.

He also appealed to the general public to make family planning a priority, because it was important for healthy families and better socio-economic development. The Zanzibar Minister for Health, Mr Juma Duni pledged to work on the problems, saying that there were plans to upgrade maternal services at the Sebleni clinic.

Dr Fadhili Mohammed, Unguja Island Chief Medical Officer, said the planned mobile clinics will further help minimise congestion at Mnazi Mmoja Referral Hospital.

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