Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Seif Rashid

Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Seif Rashid

Health and Social Welfare Minister, Seif Rashid speaking at a ceremony to hand over operating theatre at Sangabuye Ward Healthy Centre, Ilemela Municipality, in Mwanza, said the health sector has recorded great achievements, thanks to great efforts by the government and development partners.

He mentioned the successes as reduced neonatal and child morbidity for children below five years of age, from 147 deaths in 1999 up to 54 deaths in 2013 out of 1,000 lives, reaching the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) number four of reducing child morbidity rate by two third this year.

Dr Rashid said that his ministry will continue in the highest speed to implement various strategies of reducing both maternal and neonatal deaths through the Big Result Now initiatives.

According to him, his ministry will also continue to implement a special strategy which was inaugurated by President Jakaya Kikwete in May, last year, so as to identify various solutions which will bring the expected results through Big Result Now (BRN) in the health sector.

?We have directed all health workers at all levels to work harder, in order to measure achievements at the end of this year,? Dr Rashid has said.

He added that the government will continue to implement various priorities in the health sector in the 2014/15 fiscal year. He mentioned those priorities as to implement multicultural plans which has the aim of reducing maternal, neonatal and child morbidity in order to end deaths.

?We will also improve prevention, treatment, skills services and fight against both transmitted and non- transmitted diseases and those which were not given priority in our country in order to have a healthy community,? he said.

The Canadian Deputy Minister for International Development, Mr Malcolm Brown, said Tanzania is one of the focus countries for Canadian support for reducing maternal and newborn deaths and child health is its top priority for development assistance to developing countries.

He commended the government of Tanzania through President Kikwete for making the two countries have very close relationship that has developed over decades and still continues.

?Both leaders are strongly committed to improving the health of women and children and reducing the number of preventable deaths,? he said.

He said that in the past five years, Canada provided more than 100m/- US dollars to the health Basket Fund, which supports public health facilities and strengthen the overall health system.

Plan Country Director, Mr Jorgen Haldorsen said their project which started in 2011, is being implemented in the regions of Rukwa (to Nkasi and Sumbawanga rural and Kalambo districts) and in Mwanza (Ilemela and Sengerema districts) and it is funded by CIDA and Plan and is implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

He said that the project benefited 300,000 women when giving birth, 80,000 men and over 325,000 children and the has build capacity to more than 1,000 government health workers, 5,000 voluntary community health workers in the 516 villages in mainland Tanzania.

?The project will also benefit 1million households through 199 health services facilities,? he said.

Wazazi na Mwana Project was formed to address persistent maternal, newborn and Child health challenges, whereby Plan International partnered with Jhpiego and Africa Care to support the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in the country, to strengthen health services and implement the ministry road map strategic plan in five districts of Ilemela and Sengerema in Mwanza Region and Kalambo, Sumbawanga and Nkasi districts in Rukwa region.

By NASHON KENNEDY, Tanzania Daily News

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