THE Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, has urged social workers to collaborate with professionals and people from other disciplines in order to address personal, social and community challenges.
"I believe that it is high time you work together at all levels for change, social justice, implementation of human rights and building on the wealth of social initiatives," Dr Mwinyi said during the launch of a Masters Degree programme for Social Work at the Open University of Tanzania.
At the occasion which was held in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the minister said social workers have a role to oversee national programmes and systems that provide social, health and public welfare services which are intended to help people achieve desired standard of living.
"Based on their understanding of the mission of organizations for which they work for, social workers have a duty to administer the material resources necessary to ensure that social programmes operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.
"Research is another important component which features prominently in social work curriculum as it facilitates investigation and analysis of social needs and eventually provide directions to policies that help to make remedial goals identifiable and achievable," he remarked.
He noted with concern that the rate of crime and poverty particularly in urban areas calls for social work intervention through advocacy of human rights and social justice. Speaking at the same occasion, the Vice-Chancellor of Open University of Tanzania (OUT), Prof Tolly Mbwette, said the Masters' programme will focus on two main areas, namely core and elective courses.
"The combination of these courses prepares students to work with diverse population and issues," Prof Mbwette, who is also the President of African Council for Distance Education (ACDE), explained. The American International Health Alliance (AIHA) Senior Programme Manager, Dr Shija Maganga, congratulated social workers and other stakeholders for their devotion and professional commitment support.
"The launch of the Masters' programme today (yesterday) is an indicator for growth and change towards strengthening social work profession as well as the workforce," Dr Maganga noted.