MNH reduces death rate by 50 per cent

DAR ES SALAAM: MUHIMBILI National Hospital (MNH) has managed to reduce the number of deaths by 50 per cent due to significant improvements in the emergency services, the Director of Muhimbili Medical Services Dr John Rwegasha has said.

He told reporters recently that the government through the Ministry of Health in partnership with the Abbott Fund of the United States has invested in emergency services to save people’s lives. He further said the improvements also went alongside training health workers to obtain specialist expertise in the area of emergency medicine.

“The number of deaths as the result of not receiving emergency care has decreased,” said Dr Rwegasha.

He added that they have been collaborating with the Abbott Fund to provide training to physicians not only in MNH but also in other hospitals around the country so that they can provide emergency services and ultimately reduce the number of deaths.

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Apart from the training, Dr Rwegasha also thanked the Abbott Fund for showing an example of how cooperation between the government and the private sector can be productive due to the way emergency medicine services have succeeded in saving people’s lives.

For his part, Director of Emergency Medicine Services, Ministry of Health, Dr Erasto Silvanus said the hospital has saved lives of 99.5 per cent of patients who are brought at the hospital with emergency cases. He said that until now all regional hospitals have such services and that about 5000 health professionals have received training to attend to patients who need emergency services in all councils in the country.

“We thank the government and Abbott Fund for joining in ensuring these services are available from national level to village level, said Dr Silvanus.

He added that what is done at national level is the same at regional and village level, he cited an example of Bombo regional hospital and Bantu Clinic in Tanga, saying all processes done at the MNH are the similar to those done at Bombo and Bantu.

Director of Abbott Fund Tanzania Prof Hendry Sawe said that they will continue to cooperate with the government to establish other training centres for emergency service providers.

He said the public-private partnership is expanding the reach of emergency medicine to millions of people in previously underserved areas. The Abbott Fund is supporting this expansion by providing technical assistance on design and systems at the facilities and training staff at new EMD, through support of the Emergency Medicine Association of Tanzania (EMAT).

Through the Emergency Medicine Residency programme, to date, 88 emergency physicians and over 6,000 healthcare providers have graduated from the programme. Today, majority of physicians are still leading the way in emergency care in Tanzania, Prof Sawe added.

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