THE government has procured seven medical oxygen generators, which will be installed in seven regional referral hospitals in the country as part of efforts to fight non-communicable and communicable diseases, including the Covid-19.
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa told Members of the Parliament in Dodoma when tabling 2021/2022 budget estimates for his office that the machines were imported in February, this year.
He said that the machines, with the capacity of producing 200 oxygen cylinders per day, will be fixed at Amana, Dodoma, Geita, Manyara, Mbeya, Mtwara and Ruvuma regional referral hospitals. In addition to the fixing of the machines, the hospitals have been provided with 74 cylinders each, he said.
"Each oxygen machine which will be installed in the hospitals will have the capacity of supplying oxygen to about 18 health facilities, a development aimed at strengthening provision of health services in order to overcome present and future challenges," Mr Majaliwa said.
He further noted that the areas which will benefit from the oxygen service include emergence departments, mother and child health, theatres and Intensive Care Units (ICUs).
Mr Majaliwa said that the government plans to add 12 more similar machines in the next financial year.
He further noted that the government has continued to give priority to public health by building and improving health facilities, specialised services and increasing the availability of medicines, medical supplies, vaccines and reagents.
He said that the government has strengthened specialised services to enable Tanzanians access the services within the country, thus, saving a huge amount of money, which was being spent in seeking the services abroad.
Mr Majaliwa noted that in the year 2020/2021, a total of 62 patients benefited from kidney transplant services at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) and 16 at Benjamin Mkapa Hospital in Dodoma.
He observed that the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) treated cardiovascular conditions to 114 patients by conducting open-heart- surgery, while 36 patients underwent coronary bypass surgery.
Besides the ongoing improvement of infrastructure in health facilities across the country, the government has also strengthened availability of medicines and medical supplies, he said.
"Until March this year a total of 74.30bn/- has been spent in procurement of medicines and medical supplies in all public health facilities of which 15bn/- was spent in procuring vaccines," he said.