19 April 2017

Tanzania: Health Ministry Seeks to Improve Surgical Services

Dar es Salaam — The ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children in partnership with the GE Foundation and Safe Surgery 2020 is working on a strategic plan to transform surgical services in the country.

Speaking during the launch of the National Surgical, Obstetrics and Anaesthesia Plan Technical Working Group, the government chief medical officer, Prof Mohammed Kambi, yesterday urged delegates to come up with a realistic that would give assurance of sustainability of surgical services in Tanzania.

He noted that communicable and non-communicable diseases in the country were increasing, saying there was a need for better strategies to curb the challenge.

The chairman of the Association of Gynaecologists and Obstetrics of Tanzania, Prof Andrea Pembe, said the formulation of the plan was vital in transforming the health care settings, especially surgical services. According to him, 5.5 per cent of deliveries are conducted through surgery in Tanzania, saying surgical services are potential.

He added that the plan would seek to identify the critical shortage of health workers, essential drugs and medical supplies across the country and formulate stern strategies to address the challenge.

"There is high demand for surgical services across the country due to an acute shortage of specialists. The plan will also enable us to make a follow-up on how we can assist health workers implement the plan," he said.

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