7 January 2013

Tanzania: Isles to Improve Health Services

Zanzibar — ZANZIBAR plans to improve health services and reduce the number of patients travelling abroad for further treatment, President Ali Mohamed Shein has said.

Dr Shein made the promise when opening the newly built Zanzibar Medical Stores Department (ZMSD) at Maruhubi area, saying his government has been struggling to improve health services in the Isles. "We need to reduce costs of sending patients abroad.

This will be possible by having skilled staff, medicine and equipment in our hospitals. The government is investing heavily in health care," Dr Shein said. The event was among activities lined up to mark the 49th anniversary of the Zanzibar revolution.

The president noted that his government was spending a lot of money on sending patients abroad for further treatment and that it is high time to minimize the costs. Dr Shein further said his government would find solutions to the challenges facing the health sector including insufficient budget for essential drugs and equipment and better food for patients in hospitals.

The function was attended by several government leaders including Second Vice-President Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi and the US Ambassador, Mr Alfonso Lenhardt. Development partners contributed to construction of the medical stores as the US ambassador promised continued support in various development programmes including the health sector.

Dr Shein expressed his joy about the opening of the medical stores and called on members of staff to make sure that medicines and other health equipment are properly kept. "In the course of increasing demand for medicines, the government is facing shortage of funds to improve health service," he said.

Zanzibar Deputy Minister for Health, Dr Sira Ubwa Mambo said that the ZMSD is modern with a capacity of storing large consignment of medicines and equipment and that Zanzibar would be able to store and distribute medicines through its Integrated Logistic System (ZILS).

ZMSD Director, Ms Mayasa Salum said the objective of establishing the stores is to make sure that Zanzibar has good quality drugs and medical equipment, easily accessible freely and at affordable prices.

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