Tanzania: Udom Partners With Hpss to Empower Public Health Workers

THE University of Dodoma (UDOM) has partnered with the Health Promotion and System Strengthening Project (HPSS) in health promotion initiatives to complement government efforts in providing quality health services in the country.

HPSS-Tuimarishe Afya, a Swiss-Tanzania Cooperation Project is funded by the Swiss Government through Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and is being implemented by Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH).

Swiss TPH in collaboration with UDOM has convened a five-day capacity building health promotion training for health workers from public health facilities across the country.

The training which focuses on introducing participatory approaches and techniques for health promotion in community and school settings aimed at building the capacity of health workers at public facilities.

Almost 52 health workers, including 26 Regional Health Coordinators and 26 Regional School Health Promotion Coordinators drawn from across the country are participating in the training.

Speaking at the opening of the training, Project Manager at Swiss TPH/HPPS Project, Ally Kebby said some 13 national level health promotion coordinators and administrators are taking part in the training.

He said that the training is in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, Tanzania National Health Policy and other strategic documents that underscore the importance of health promotion as a vehicle to realize access to quality health services for all population groups.

"At the end of the training, participants are expected to deepen their knowledge in planning, budgeting, implementing and supervising interventions for community and school health promotion and seek to empower communities to take over control of their health and wellbeing" said Kebby

According to the national health policy of 2007, National Health Promotion Policy Guidelines and National School Health Services Guidelines, the government commits to ensure the population is safe from preventable and avoidable diseases so as to contribute to the national economic development.

The initiatives by Swiss TPH/HPSS and UDOM are therefore meant to support the government's vision in making available quality preventive, promotive, curative and rehabilitative health services through properly trained health personnel.

Besides financing the training, Swiss TPH/HPSS project has provided assorted teaching and learning aids to UDOM in order to enhance the function of offering health promotion training, research and documentation so as to support the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, the Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC) and the President's Office - Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG) as well as non-state actors (NSAs) in delivering health promotion initiatives.

The items donated to UDOM's School of Public Health include three laptops, a projector, a projector screen, a heavy-duty printer and copier, reference books, bookshelves, a whiteboard and a pin board valued at 21 m/-

The partnership between Swiss TPH/HPSS project and UDOM dates back to 2014 and is aimed at supporting the government in bridging the shortage of health workers, particularly in the area of health promotion.

Speaking while officiating at the opening of the training, Stephen Kibusi from UDOM's School of Nursing and Public Health expressed gratitude to HPSS for the initiatives aimed at empowering public health workers.

"UDOM is pleased to be part of the agenda of health promotion, especially at this time when the world is facing serious health challenges" he said.

He said that it is pleasing to see health promotion agenda on top of the government agendas at a time when COVID-19 has exposed health practitioners globally on how to deal with such outbreaks.

Martha Mariki, Coordinator, Public Health at the President's Office, Regional Administration and Local Government underscored the importance of the training, saying the government is investing a lot of resources on public health services.

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