The government of Switzerland through its development and cooperation agency (SDC) has expressed its keenness to continue supporting Tanzania in various sectors including health.
Dr Thomas Teuscher who represented the Swiss Ambassador to Tanzania during the launching of a system geared towards improving availability of medical supplies held in Morogoro this week, said that his government will continue to work closely with Tanzania in various areas.
“As we are all aware, Switzerland has close relations with Morogoro region, particularly in Ifakara since 1921, I am honoured to witness this important event through the Health Promotion and System Strengthening (HPSS) project.
Dr Teuscher, who is also the Head of Health Section at the Swiss Embassy in Dar es Salaam, said that the quality of health services is measured by considering the availability of medical drugs.
He said according to the Scorecard Health Basket report for 2016, only 36 per cent of health centres in the country have all basic medical drugs throughout the year, thus posing challenges in the health sector.
“More than 50 percent of medical drugs which are not available at the Medical Store Department (MSD) are obtained from other sources … this year at Dodoma region, 60 per cent of medicines was obtained from a prime vendor,” Dr Teuscher said. He said the project has brought positive results in improving the availability of medicines, equipment and reagents from MSD to health centres.
This system has enabled the joint purchase of medical drugs at district level and reduces the cost, which has been incurred for the service and encourages workers to work hard.
He said that the findings in three regions of Dodoma, Shinyanga and Morogoro will help the ministry of health to recommend on better system to support MSD. The importance of the recommendations was observed during a policy meeting held recently and its implementation countrywide will help to extend the Community Health Fund services.
HPSS aims at improving the health status of Tanzanians in the six districts of Dodoma region, with a focus on those most at risk (women, children, elderly). Its approach is to support the health system to become more responsive to the health needs and demands of the different population groups.
It aims at strengthening the demand side through health promotion and social accountability as well as the supply side by improving health service delivery and system strengthening in the region Deputy Permanent Secretary in the President Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (Health) Dr Zainabu Chaula said the system will ensure constant supply of medical drugs and supplies in health centres, thus improving service delivery.
She called upon politicians in collaboration with health practitioners and other stakeholders to encourage people to join CHF.