PERMANENT Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Professor Mabula Mchemba has asked officials in the ministry to offer best medical services that complement the country’s lower middle income status.
He said this while officiating the 7th Tanzania Health Summit that ended on Thursday in the country’s capital, Dodoma.
The summit was attended by various stakeholders from across the country.
Among the institutions that attended the function included the Health Promotion and Systems Strengthening (HPSS), which used the occasion to publicize its wellknown project dubbed Tuimarishe Afya.
The project operates in Tanzania to support the National Health Insurance Fund in the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government and the Ministry of Health Community Development Gender Elderly and Children to roll out Community Health Fund to informal sector workers and rural population.
According to HPSS’s Project Manager, Mr Ally Abdallah, the target of the project is to strengthen the engagement and capacities of government staff, such as health and community development officers in health promotion, improving the health financing system, strengthening of public financial management as well as reorganizing the Community Health Funds into viable social health insurance schemes.
Others are improving the flow of “matching funds” from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to decentralized level, support local government authorities in improving management of supplies and essential drugs, and maintenance of technical infrastructure (buildings, equipment) of the health system.
“The HPSS Tuimarishe Afya Project follows a ‘systems approach’ and is based on the understanding that successful promotion of community responsibility and action towards improved health should raise demand for quality health services. The rationale for the project is therefore to improve community health, both demand and supply need to be strengthened concurrently and systems relating to access need to be supported,’’ he added.
The project which is sponsored by the government of Switzerland through Swiss Agency for Development and Corporation under Swiss TPHI focuses on health system strengthening to improve the health financing system.
This includes strengthening of the public financial management, supporting Community Health Funds through re-organizing them into viable social health insurance schemes, and improving the flow of funding from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to health services in Dodoma Region.
In an interview with the Daily News, HPSS Project Director, Mr Manfred Stoermer said, however, that the project’s efforts to make additional financial resources available and to mobilize community activities may be undermined if the quality of health services is perceived to be poor.