ZANZIBAR: ZANZIBAR President, Hussein Mwinyi has argued that the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is important in reaching Tanzania’s goal to offer quality medical services.
“The UHC is very important for the government to ensure that every Tanzanian accesses quality services regardless of their economic status. This is also necessary because it enables people to become healthy and engage in economic activities,” Dr Mwinyi stated on Tuesday in Dar es Salaam.
“We will ensure that no one is left behind in accessing quality health services,” he added.
Dr Mwinyi was speaking when officiating the opening of the 10th Tanzania Health Summit (THS) alongside launching of the board of the THS.
The THS is organised by a consortium of institutions, including the Ministry of Health (MoH), Ministry of Health-Zanzibar, BAKWATA, Christian Social Services Commission (CSSC), the Association of Health Facilities of Tanzania (APHFTA) and TMHS Tanzania.
He expressed optimism that the 10th THS will be a catalyst for positive change in the country’s health systems.
He said Tanzania has made great efforts to improve the health sector, citing the current budget allocation of 203.4bn/- for improving infrastructures and purchasing medical devices.
The budget will, among others, construct new health centres, hence making a total of 6953 health centres countrywide.
This will enable more penetration of health services at grassroot level.
He further noted that the fight against Aids/HIV has also made strides since over 95 per cent of infected people use ARVs, saying more efforts are needed to eliminate the disease by 2030.
Earlier, when welcoming Dr Hussein, Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said there were huge reforms in the health sector, noting that modern medical equipment have been installed in all levels of health centres.
“We will not relax even after purchasing many equipment, but we want all Tanzanians to access quality medical services. To achieve this, the way forward is to have Universal Health Coverage,” Ms Mwalimu said.
She said the government will continue motivating Tanzanians to invest in health, assuring that the government will continue investing in it.
She commended THS for organising the summit which brought together various health stakeholders.
On his part, Dr Omary Chilo, President of THS commended President Mwinyi for introducing the Universal Health Coverage in Zanzibar.
“We hope that the mainland will also do the same, we recognise efforts by the Health Minister to ensure UHC is introduced,” he said.
This year’s theme, “Strengthening Health Systems for UHC, focusing on Primary Health Care,” is particularly timely, as Tanzania is working to achieve UHC by 2030.
Primary Health Care (PHC) is a key component of UHC, as it provides essential health services to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.
Dr Ntuli Kapologwe, Director of Health, Social Welfare and Nutrition Services, President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government, has been researching Primary Health Care (PHC) for many years.
“We see that in Tanzania, Primary Health Care contributes 95 per cent in health services provision. Therefore, investment in that area is very much needed to be able to reach the government’s goal of achieving Health for All by or before the year 2030,” he said.
Dr Grace Magembe, the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, spoke about the decision to start awarding healthcare workers through THS Health Awards.
She said that the awards will be a way of boosting the morale of healthcare workers and improve healthcare services.
“Healthcare workers are the backbone of our health system. They work tirelessly to provide care to our people, often in difficult and challenging conditions. These awards are a way to recognise their hard work and dedication,” he said.
Dr Magembe also said that the awards will help to improve healthcare services in the long-run.
“By recognising and rewarding excellence in healthcare, we are sending a message that we value our healthcare workers and that we are committed to providing quality healthcare to our people,” she said.