KAGERA Regional Commissioner (RC), Brig Gen Marco Gaguti has reiterated the government commitment to ensure that people get maximum social services, including health, education and water infrastructure.
He expressed satisfaction on the construction of Kyerwa District Hospital, appealing to authorities in the area to ensure that the remaining work is completed by next month.
Mr Gaguti made the remarks after visiting Kyerwa district where he was informed that construction of the district hospital had reached 85 per cent progress.
“I appeal to people to invest in health by checking their status from time to time. Investing in health is very crucial. Weak and sick persons cannot contribute positively in national building economic activities.
I also urge people to join the Community Health Fund (CHF), to enable them enjoy services rendered by the Fund,” he said.
Kagera Regional Medical Officer (RMO), Dr Marco Mbata revealed that during 2018/19 financial year, the government released about 4.5bn/-for the construction of three district hospitals for Kyerwa, Karagwe and Bukoba districts.
Also, three dispensaries, namely Nyakanazi (Biharamulo), Bunazi (Missenyi) and Kayanga (Karagwe) have been upgraded to Health Centres.
“We thank President John Magufuli for upgrading Bunazi (Misenyi), Nyakanazi (Biharamulo) and Kayanga (Karagwe) dispensaries to Health Centres.
This is a big achievement because in the past pregnant women had to travel a long distance of 50 kilometers,” he said.
Kyerwa District Medical Officer (DMO), Dr Diocles Ngaiza informed him that among the challenges facing them included inflated prices of building materials.
“Effective public health systems from the grassroots level are important in providing care for the sick and putting in place measures that promote preventive services of diseases.
Rural women, in particular, have continued to suffer debilitating poverty occasioned by retrogressive cultural practices and the politics of marginalisation,” he said.
The only source of financial freedom for rural women is productive agricultural enterprises, which unfortunately has not been strengthened enough to erase the circle of poverty.
This is despite the fact that rural women contribute immensely to agriculture and rural enterprises, fueling local and global economies.
They are active players to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Yet, every day around the world, rural women and girls face insurmountable constraints from the prevailing social, economic and political order.
Approximately 830 women in most developing nations die from preventable causes during pregnancy or childbirth every day.
More efforts were needed to reduce malaria by employing an integrated approach including prevention through mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying, prevention of malaria in pregnancy, prompt diagnosis and correct treatment, strengthened malaria surveillance, improved human resources and promotion of positive behaviors for malaria prevention.
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 assets to pay for health.
It is little wonder that Universal Health Coverage (UHC), is at the centre of global policy debate today. However, much remains to be done to realize the dream of UHC in Africa.
Countries across the continent are still struggling to drive down maternal and child mortality, malaria and malnutrition while addressing the rising burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as diabetes and cancer.
In addition, although Africa accounts for 24 per cent of the global burden of disease, it has only 3 per cent of the global health workforce and 11 million Africans are pushed into poverty and remain poor every year due to health care costs.