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Tanzania: Government working to address shortage of health workers

HEALTH Minister Mrs. Ummy Mwalimu assured that the government is working hard to address the 50% shortfall of health professionals in the country.

The government’s efforts are aimed at improving services and enabling more Tanzanians to access health services.

The minister said the number of Tanzanians receiving diagnostic services is relatively low as it stands at 43% while only 53% of the country’s population receives treatment services.

“The government has already shown its intention to increase this number, by which it has already issued a permit to recruit 10,285 new employees. My ministry will ensure that the positions are advertised and that there is no nepotism in the recruitment process,” she insisted.

Ms Mwalimu said this on Wednesday in Dar es Salaam as she honored the launch of a five-year Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) between Tanzania and the World Health Organization (WHO).

She said the government was preparing to improve services and access to primary health care.

“In primary health care, we want to employ more staff and increase equipment to support maternal and child health care. This is after learning that more than 90% of pregnant women attend clinics, but some children are born with HIV and syphilis. This suggests that more needs to be done to protect children from infection with these diseases.”

Another area the government is focusing on is improving records management in hospitals.

Further, she said the government will come up with rules, regulations and strategies to implement the envisioned universal health coverage through insurance schemes.

“The government also plans to focus more on diagnostic services, laboratory services and radiology and put more emphasis on increasing facilities to serve patients effectively,” she added.

He acknowledged that health facilities in cities were overwhelmed with large numbers of people seeking medical services, thus stressing the need to prioritize them in allocating more staff.

“A normal health center in Dar es Salaam can serve up to 500 women giving birth, while regional hospitals in other parts of the country have recorded less than 50 women giving birth. This means we need to balance the number of health facility employees and demand for benefits.” She argued.

For her part, WHO Representative Dr TigestMengestu said the newly launched strategy, which will be implemented from 2022 to 2027, is part of the global health commitment to help Tanzania achieve its mission to achieve high quality health services and improve the livelihoods of its people.

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