Tanzania: Massive Boost to Maternal Services

TANZANIA is set to receive 57bn/- in aid from the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children, and Adolescents Health (GFF) for improving maternal and child health services in the country.

The support was announced on Wednesday at the 14th GFF Conference in Paris, France, where Tanzania was represented by Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu.

In a statement issued by the Health Ministry, Ms Mwalimu said that GFF had previously offered financial aid for maternal and child health at the tune of 40bn/- in 2015/2016. She said that Tanzania has made progress in providing maternal and child health services, noting that maternal and child mortality is on the decline.

“Primary healthcare in Tanzania has a long history. All previous governments, particularly The president made the assurance in Chato district, Geita region while on the way to Kagera region for a three-day work visit. She said the government will continue to subsidize the petroleum products until the prices stabilise in the world market.

The latest move comes just a month after President Samia offered the 100bn/- subsidy in May, this year, to reduce the burden of soaring cost of fuel for this month. She noted that the government was concerned with the soaring price of fuel and inflation that have been caused by the dispute between Russia and Ukraine.

“Not only Tanzania that has faced inflation as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war, but also the rest of the world experience the same… the government is working on the matter to reduce the magnitude of the effects,” she said.

She explained further that Tanzania is also importing wheat from Russia and five days from yesterday (June 8 to June 12), this year to make sure that the motorcycles, packed at the ministry’s premises, are handed over to the District Executive Directors.

“This is unacceptable, all DEDs should officially be notified through letters to come and collect the motorcycles…plate numbers will be installed in their respective areas. By Sunday 4 pm the motorcycles should reach the beneficiaries.” the fourth-term President, Dr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete placed a strong focus on primary healthcare,” she stated.

Ms Ummy, however, stated that Tanzania still has a long way to go to ensure that its citizens have access to high-quality healthcare, and she requested donors continue to work with the Tanzanian government.

“While Tanzania is proud to have its first female President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, we urge you to continue to work together with our government to improve maternal and child health care.” GFF is a multi-stakeholder global partnership housed at the World Bank that is committed to ensuring all women, children, and adolescents can survive and thrive.

Launched in July 2015, the GFF supports 36 low and lowermiddle-income countries with catalytic financing and technical help to develop and implement prioritized national health plans to scale up access to affordable, quality care for women, children, and adolescents.

The GFF also works with countries to maximize the use of domestic financing and external support for better, more sustainable health results.

The 14th Conference on Maternal and Child Health Donors held in the city from June 6 to 8, 2022, is an important meeting of stakeholders in the well-being of the Health Sector and discusses various issues, including the strengthening of primary health care.

The conference also discussed the current challenges and gains made through GFF funding as well as how best to increase human resources at health facilities, including providing specialized training to health workers and increasing their resources to improve services provided at primary health care facilities.

Addressing the National Assembly for the first time in Dodoma last year, President Samia expressed the government’s commitment to ensuring that no woman dies while giving birth.

“In the next five years, the government will strengthen access to health services, by continuing to construct health infrastructure, employ more health personnel, and increase medical equipment and reagents,” she said.

President Samia emphasized maternal and newborn health during a conference with women from around the country in Dodoma in June 2021 saying the government has achieved significant progress in reducing maternal mortality and morbidity.

The Head of State said statistics show that 80 per cent of babies are being born in health facilities, whereas the number of under-five children who are vaccinated now stands at 98 per cent.

“Over the years, the government has increased its efforts to ensure that health services are brought closer to people by building infrastructure such as hospitals and health centers across the country,” Ms Samia said. Such improvements have highly contributed to the reduction of mortality rate.


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