16 January 2013

Tanzania: One-Village-One-Dispensary Plan in Offing

Arusha — THE government is planning to establish dispensaries in each and every village in the country by the year 2017.

Vice-President Dr Mohammed Gharib Bilal stated here that through the ongoing ten-year Primary Health Service Development Programme whose shelf life ends in five years' time, the government intends to build a health centre in every local Ward.

He was speaking here on Tuesday while opening the Global Maternal Health Conference 2013 taking place which has attracted over 700 delegates from nearly 70 countries worldwide. The Rwanda Minister of Health, Dr Agness Binanghwako, also addressed the Conference.

The three-day event is the second in the series of such meetings, the first having taken place in New-Delhi city of India in 2010 and all aimed at addressing the global problem of maternal mortality and morbidity.

"Tanzania is committed to improve maternal newborn and child health services in line with our commitments to Millennium Development Goals, the Maputo Plan of Action, National Development Vision 2025 and the National Strategy for Economic Growth and Reduction of Poverty (2010-2015)," explained Dr Bilal.

According to the VP, the country has managed to reduce annual Maternal Mortality ratio from 578 deaths per 100,000 expectant mothers, down to 454 per 100,000 live births. "However this trend is far from the MDG target of 193 deaths per 100,000 deliveries by 2015," he said.

On his part, the Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, said the government was working to introduce 'Friendly Public Health Services' that will be providing consultative advice to young people, following the current waves of teen pregnancies.

"Adolescent pregnancies have been found to be among the major causes of child birth difficulties many of which lead to maternity deaths," said Dr Mwinyi, adding that with friendly advices, young girls will be assisted to avoid early pregnancies and irresponsible sexual activities.

He said other problems that lead to maternity deaths include, long distances to health services, poor education, badly equipped medical practitioners, or limited training among attendants. The Arusha-held, second Global Maternal Health Conference (GMHC-2013) will officially be closed on Thursday by the First Lady, Mama Salma Kikwete.

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