THE newly constructed Kitisi dispensary in Mji Mwema Ward of Makambako town council, worth over 99m/-, is set to start operations from next month.
Prior to the start of operations, potential beneficiaries have urged the government to consider bringing-in health service providers in time.
The construction of the dispensary is part of various infrastructure development projects which have been sponsored by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Njombe region, and implemented by the government through Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF).
TASAF allows people to present their needs through town councils, where Mji Mwema residents requested for a dispensary after spending a long time trekking to Makambako Health Centre for treatment, a health facility which is overwhelmed by the number of patients, according to Mji Mwema Chairperson of Community Management Committee (CMC), Mr Yona Muhiche.
"A number of expectant mothers used to deliver their babies before they reached the health centre, which is over two kilometres away. To show that we really need health services in our area, we as the residents have been practicing what is called 'community participation' in the on-going construction activities which kicked-off from September this year. We fetch water, we process and collect sand and stones on top of other manual labour," he said.
One of Mji Mwema residents, Ms Zaina Sanga, stressed that long trekking in search of health services has not only been consuming their time, but has also economically affected the people.
She said that despite the long travel, people also used to spend a lot of time at the health centre and sometimes spent two or more days due to a long queue of patients.
"We thank the government for hearing our cry," she said. OPEC has been supporting about 330 development projects in Njombe, worth over 13.1bn/- in a period of five years from 2015, according to TASAF Communication Officer, Mr Estom Sanga. The projects are in areas of agriculture, livestock, road infrastructures, health, education and income generating activities, said Mr Sanga.