Tanzania: Use health resources with caution, says PM

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has directed that all the resources granted for the implementation of various health projects should be used prudently and honestly, to ensure that the intended goals are achieved, resulting in community transformation.

He released the guidelines on Friday in Dodoma during the launch of the Afya Yangu program implemented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID Tanzania).

The five-year program worth US$260 million (approximately 604 billion/-) will focus on the delivery of health services for HIV, tuberculosis, family planning, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH).

“Local government authorities must provide all necessary assistance for the successful implementation of the project. This project must not be allowed to be derailed by corrupt leaders.

“Leaders should make sure they review them regularly to make sure project goals are being met and productivity is being achieved,” he said.

Majaliwa said the sixth phase government led by President Samia Suluhu Hassan has continued to prioritize the health sector by implementing initiatives aimed at increasing service delivery, particularly in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

The Prime Minister further stated that various efforts by government and stakeholders have started to bear fruit; with the implementation of the strategy to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV has significantly reduced the prevalence rate from 13.5% in 2015 to 7% in 2020.

He said the government has made maternal and infant mortality a top priority by implementing the primary health promotion programme.

“As part of this program, we have been asked to increase the number of health facilities so that each service has one.”

“As of 2020, a total of 487 health facilities and 102 district hospitals had been built or renovated to provide primary healthcare including antenatal surgery, this is a huge achievement,” Majaliwa said.

According to him, Tanzania is now one of the few countries in sub-Saharan Africa that has largely met the United Nations requirements for providing emergency maternal and newborn services.

He mentioned access to emergency services based on population and geographic location, as well as a high rate of mothers delivering in service delivery centers as criteria.

Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu on her part thanked USAID Tanzania for helping the government improve health services in the country.

She said the organization was working with the government to fund interventions for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, family planning, and maternal and child health, all of which will be delivered by USAID Afya Yangu projects, whose end beneficiaries are the Tanzanians. , especially those in the outlying regions where these projects will be implemented.

The United States Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr. Donald Wright said the friendship and cooperation between Tanzania and the United States continued to grow and strengthen day by day.

“With nearly two-thirds of Tanzania’s population under the age of 25, we need to strengthen local health systems to improve health outcomes for generations of young Tanzanians who will guide the country towards a more sustainable and stable future. said Dr. Wright.

Earlier, USAID Resident Director Kate Somvongsiri said the program will be implemented in 21 regions of mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, regional and local government authorities, civil society organizations, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), Jhpiego, Deloitte and consortium partners.

“Statistics show that Tanzania has approximately 1.7 million HIV-positive people who face persistent reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health challenges, and continue to have cases of Covid-19, which disproportionately affected high-risk groups like pregnant women, women and people living with HIV,” she said.

Ms. Somvongsiri said the project will also improve the nutrition and health outcomes of Tanzanian households by making quality health care services more easily accessible by continuing to build the capacity of local actors for long-term country-led programs.

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