State vows to improve emergency services

DAR ES SALAAM: IN an effort to improve emergency services in the country, the government has pledged to continue working with the US based Abbott Foundation and Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in various areas, including building capacity for medical equipment specialists and addressing any future challenges.

The pledge was recently made by Head of Emergency and Clinical Care in the Ministry of Health, Dr Erasto Sylvanus, during a meeting with officials from Abbott Fund.

The meeting, which also included a short tour of the improved facilities at MNH’s emergency department, underscored the importance of increasing collaborations between the government and the private sector in investing in emergency care.

Dr Sylvanus stated that the relationship between the government and Abbott is strong and will continue to support the organization’s efforts in extending emergency services to rural areas.

“After the establishment of the Emergency Medical Department (EMD) at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), zonal referral hospitals, regional, and some district hospitals, the collaboration will now facilitate rural dwellers to access immediate and quality medical services at the village level,” he said.

Dr Sylvanus also mentioned that the establishment of emergency services at MNH and other areas has significantly reduced the mortality rate by over 50 per cent, as patients receive necessary services promptly.

He added that using the model implemented at MNH, the government plans to establish emergency services in some villages before expanding to other areas.

“Prior to the introduction of well-equipped emergency services at MNH in 2010, the situation was dire, as many patients who could have been saved with immediate care ended up losing their lives. We thank the government and with support from Abbott Fund, many lives have been saved and changed,” Dr Sylvanus said.

The Director of Medical Services at MNH, Dr John Rwegasha, mentioned that due to the government’s investment in the health sector, the number of patients who die in the emergency department has decreased to 0.5 per cent, ensuring a 99 per cent survival rate for patients at the department.

He highlighted that Abbott Fund helped MNH renovate the central laboratory and provided support for several facilities to enhance emergency care.

Dr Rwegasha also noted that Abbott funded various training programs for health professionals, research, quality of service, information and communication technology systems, and more.

He stated that MNH serves a total of 200 to 250 emergency patients per day from various parts of the country and neighboring countries.

Head of EMD at MNH, Dr.Juma Mfinanga, emphasized, “Every day, we touch the lives of mothers, fathers, children, and this is our priority; serving people and restoring smiles to families and the nation.

” Meanwhile, the Director of Abbott Fund Tanzania, Prof Hendry Sawe, mentioned that they will continue to cooperate with the government to establish other training centers for emergency service providers.

He stated that the public-private partnership is expanding the reach of emergency medicine to millions of people in previously underserved areas.

Abbott Fund has worked with the government since 2001 to strengthen the country’s healthcare system.

In 2009, after upgrading outpatient care and completing a nationwide hospital lab modernization program, a partnership was established to introduce emergency medicine in Tanzania.

Abbott Fund opened six more emergency medicine facilities across Tanzania in Mbeya, Arusha, Dodoma, and Coast regions, as well as at Bantu village in Mkinga District, Tanga Region.

The Abbott Fund is a philanthropic foundation established by Abbott in 1951 in the US, aiming to create healthier global communities by investing in creative ideas that promote science, expand access to healthcare, and strengthen communities worldwide.

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