MULEBA District Commissioner (DC), Mr Toba Nguvila has hailed Ijumbi Ward residents for volunteering to construct a health centre in effort to boost health delivery to the majority of poor households.
Equally, he appealed to the diaspora to support the government's efforts in providing essential social services to the people, including education, health and water.
"As part of the government's commitment to continue boosting access to health, especially in rural areas, President Samia Suluhu Hassan had allocated a huge budget to ensure that
every part of the country, both urban and rural, have access to adequate, affordable and reliable health facilities. These efforts should be supported," he said.
Mr Nguvila made the re-marks on Tuesday when he visited Lubao village, where the health centre was being constructed while accompanied by members of the defense and security committee. '
Ijumbi Ward Councilor, Mr Wilbard Mubirigi informed him that the residents had unanimously decided to construct the health centre to avoid walking long distances to Rubya Mission hospital which also served as DDH.
He explained that the health centre which will have maternity and children wards will also benefit three neighboring Wards including Ibuga, Buhangaza and Kashasha.
Nshambya Village Chairperson, Ms Joyce Projestus, on the other hand, explained that several pregnant women and children died due to walking a long distance. "Most of the people were poor and could hardly afford to pay high medical costs thus some patients simply died at home," she said.
According to the 2012 Population and Housing Cen- sus Ijumbi Ward comprised five villages namely Ruhija, Lubao, Ibare, Ijumbi and Nshambya and had a population of 11,000.
Mr Nguvila commended Mr Prosper Rweyendera (PR), who is one among the diaspora, for offering land and several buildings free of charge also appeal- ing to others to emulate the example.
By ensuring that health facilities are equipped to deliver comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care services, we can effectively address the fatal complications of childbirth, including severe bleeding, infection, prolonged or obstructed labor, eclampsia and asphyxia in the newborn," he said.
Health systems and service delivery require strengthening. The availability of drugs and supplies remain a challenge. The systems for referral and transport are inadequate. Limited access to insurance schemes and informal payments at health facilities pose financial barriers to access. Statistics indicate that two out of three of all maternal deaths globally occur in sub- Saharan Africa.
Only six African countries dedicate at least 15 per cent of their annual budgets to the health sector, while over 11 million people are falling into poverty every year due to high out-of-pocket payments on health.
Data shows that lack of affordable, quality health care continues to trap many in poverty. Globally, as many as 100 million people a year are pushed into poverty due to high health care costs and about 30 per cent of households in Africa and Asia have to borrow money or sell as- sets to pay for health.