26 January 2013

Tanzania: Kikwete Calls for More Accountability in the Health Sector

Davos, Switzerland — PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete has underscored the need for increased transparency and accountability in the health sector in order to make the world a better place.

Speaking at a dinner hosted in his honour by Global Health Diplomacy (GHD) on Thursday night, the president said transparency had helped in the distribution of ARVs and treated mosquito nets.

President Kikwete noted that transparency and accountability would ensure value for money in health service delivery and eventually a significant impact will be seen.

He believed that with guarded transparency and accountability, more interventions would be made in healthcare and many health challenges will be addressed.

President Kikwete called for partnerships between governments and other stakeholders since governments alone cannot tackle all challenges facing health sector, particularly on financing the sector. He also commended African leaders for a job well done in the last 10 years, in reducing cases of malaria and HIV/AIDS.

Princess Astrid of Belgium commended President Kikwete for his initiatives in fighting malaria through the Public Private Partnership (PPP). She stated that malaria was costing Africa 20bn US dollars per year (Approx 32tr/-) and that it inflicts 200 million people every year.

"We are all responsible and accountable of containing malaria... only 7 dollars can protect 7 children against the disease, ...we have the tools to fight against the disease; she stressed. The Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and a prominent author, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, announced at the launch of the new programme dubbed as '1m Community Health Worker Campaign' which was launched by President of Rwanda Mr Paul Kagame last Thursday.

According to him, the objective of the programme is to support African governments as they scale up training, deployment and management of community health worker programmes. He noted further that the programme targets every village in Africa with a view of reducing malaria to zero per cent. Prof Sachs stated that malaria cases had been reduced by 50 per cent from 2003 due to commitment and partnership of all stakeholders.

"Basically we are halfway to reach desirable goals... I will run like crazy to make sure this initiative succeeds; he stressed. Prof Sachs also seized the opportunity to commend President Kikwete for his initiatives against malaria. Meanwhile, President Jakaya Kikwete is expected today to present the country's report on good governance at the African Union Forum for African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

The president arrived yesterday in Addis Ababa after his tour in Davos, Switzerland. Among other things he is expected to participate in the 20th meeting of the African heads of state and governments, which runs for two days.

According to the Executive Secretary of APRM, Rehema Twalib, President Kikwete will present the report before Africa's heads of state at the APRM forum that started yesterday. She said that the report was first discussed by stakeholders in Tanzania and later by people from Africa who visited the country and evaluated what was said by the stakeholders to verify if it was correct.

The government answered to all queries raised by the stakeholders and later deliberated on the report. The Executive Secretary said that the evaluation covered areas including politics and democracy, private institutions and public ones, business issues and social services.

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