Makala: Protecting vulnerable groups against Covid-19 

DAR ES SALAAM Regional Commissioner Amos Makala has asked members of the public to continue protecting the most vulnerable from Covid-19 pandemic through observing preventive measures.

Mr Makala made the plea in Dar es Salaam over the weekend when officiating a walkathon to raise awareness and uptake of Covid-19 vaccine for the public.

A walkathon, which was coordinated by the Aga Khan Health Service Tanzania (AKHST) in partnership with the European Union (EU) and Aga Khan Development Network, aimed at complementing the government’s efforts in response to COVID-19 pandemic.

“Remember, you possess the destiny of your own health…so if you vaccinate, you reduce the severity of the disease in case you get it …but also if you vaccinate, you protect others,” RC Makala underlined.

“I congratulate Aga Khan Health Service, Tanzania and the European Union for their efforts and timely support to the government of Tanzania particularly Dares Salaam in health systems strengthening including promoting vaccination against Covid-19,” added Mr Makala.

Mr Makala implored Tanzanians, especially Dar es Salaam residents to conduct regular physical exercise as a way of fighting against Covid-19 and other diseases such as non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like heart diseases and diabetes.

The Medical Director, Aga Khan Health Service, Dr Harrison Chuwa, said Covid-19 was a great lesson for health systems preparedness in response to any outbreak.

“Part of that preparedness includes public’s health protection through awareness and vaccinations. It should be noted that Covid-19 is still here, hence, the only way to ensure that we are all safe, is to get vaccinated,” said Dr Chuwa.

He conveyed AKHST’s gratitude to the European Union for their support and through them and other partners, AKHST will continue to collaborate and focus on public-private partnerships to build a sustainable health system.

Dr Chuwa elaborated that the walkathon is part of a larger programme where the EU and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) have agreed on 9.56-million US dollars project aimed at improving systemic, gender-sensitive responses to overcome health, economic and social vulnerabilities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique.

“The project started in December 2020 and will end in June 2023…In Tanzania, this project, worth 3.8 bn/-, is implemented in Dar es Salaam, Mtwara, Lindi and Mwanza regions,” he said.

Dr Chuwa also highlighted three pillars of intervention of the program including Civil Society Resilience strengthening (including digital solutions to community-based savings groups, data collection, and provision of rapid response funds to community-level micro-loans funds), strengthening health systems (including procurement of medical supplies, test kits, equipment and provision of web-based continuous medical education) and youth access to health and economic activities (including support to youth skills training, youth-led innovation funds).

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