Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Govt to Improve Primary Health Care

Mwanza — THE government will work closely with different professional organizations, governmental and non-governmental institutions for the purpose of delivering preventive measures to diseases that have huge impact on primary health care.

This was said by the Vice President, Dr Gharib Bilal when officiating during the 6th Tanzania Medical Students Association (TAMSA) International medical students' scientific conference and the 4th TAMSA general assembly held here in the city.

Dr Bilal said that the government has made great progress in improving the health sector despite challenges, but there are more plans of increasing health facilities which will deliver good quality services for the whole country.

"Great progress has been made in the health sector recently although we are still faced with many challenges, some of which will be discussed at this conference. I hope this gathering will come up with solutions to some of our problems," he said.

He added that so far the government has established a centre for heart and cad iatric surgeries in the country of which is a success story for the government as it reduces the number of people seeking treatment abroad.

"We are proud that nowadays at Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) and Bugando Referral Hospital, we are using our own specialists, something that was not the case earlier. This is a great achievement for the country and the health sector," he said, urging Tanzanians to be patient as the government continues to find solutions for the remaining few challenges facing the health sector.

The Vice President urged TAMSA members to invest in higher learning and various trainings as the world is changing due to globalization.

"I always wanted my students to be better than me and we always want you to achieve more as professional doctors. You have to show determination and I can assure you that we as the government trust and believe in you," the Vice President clarified adding that they keep on studying by exploring new areas of studying related to their professions.

In another development, the Vice President commended the Catholic University of Health Allied Sciences (CUHA) Vice Chancellor, Prof William Mahalu, for his decision of returning back home after serving in various countries in Africa. Prof Mahalu is a Cardiac Surgeon.

Earlier, the Minister for Health, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, said there is no brain drain for Tanzania Medical fraternity as the government created good environment that enables them to work smoothly, starting from their working places up to higher learning institutions.

"New equipments have been put in place; Tanzanian doctors can now conduct open heart surgeries and many other medical procedures. There are still innovations that we are putting in place for example the Mulaganzira project, telemedicine centre and the University of Dodoma Diagnostic Centre which will be the biggest in the whole of East and Central Africa," he said.

He added that between 2006 and 2002, more than 40,364 vacancies were filled in the health sector; likewise the retention of newly employed health workers has been gradually improving with time. "An analysis made by my ministry on tracking the posted health workers for the year 2007/08 and 2009/10 showed that about 80 per cent reported and stayed.

Retention strategies such as ensuring availability of working tools and supplies, construction and renovation of staff houses within health centres and dispensaries have been actively undertaken," he said adding that for the year 2011/12 to 2013/14 more than 310 health staff houses are being constructed in the districts.

The TAMSA's Vice President, Dr Rodrick Kabangila, said the main objective of a three-day scientific conference which goes by the theme "Impact of Global Health in Africa, It's time to face challenges," is to address key areas that are still posing challenges in the country's health systems such as primary health care delivery, human resources for health, technological advancements in health and the global threats towards healthcare.

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