President Jakaya Kikwete has urged the public to voluntarily contribute to programmes aiming at saving lives of underserved majority in the country.
The president made a call on Tuesday night in Dar es Salaam at a dinner-gala organized by the Benjamin Mkapa HIV/AIDS Foundation (BMAF) to raise 16bn/- for implementation of the 2012/16 Mkapa Fellows programme.
The five-year programme is an extension of the first phase and it focuses at complementing the government’s efforts aimed at tackling HIV/AIDS challenges and prevention of maternal and newborn deaths facing Tanzanians especially those in remote areas.
According to President Kikwete, the country is experiencing a huge gap between health officers and patients, stressing that the government has started taking actions to reduce the existing gap.
“This is one step ahead in reducing the existing gap…we, Tanzanians need to contribute to saving lives of our brothers, sisters and mothers in need rather than depending much more to foreign donors,” he said pledging 5ml/- to the programme basket.
New hope for underserved people was pronounced yesterday, as Benjamin Mkapa HIV/ AIDS Foundation (BMAF) managed to raise 4.3bn/- (about 107 percent) to implement the programme later this year.
According to the foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ellen Senkoro, implementations of the programme needed 16bn/-, divided into 3bn/- each year from 2012 to 2016.
The programme is targeted to reach 2.5 million Tanzanians both in the Isles and the Mainland.
Addressing a gala dinner on Tuesday to raise the said amount, Dr Senkoro explained that more than 180 health professionals including 45 doctors will be recruited to save lives of pregnant mothers, newborn babies and people living with HIV/ AIDS.
She said the programme also aims at training, coaching and mentoring more than 1500 health workers to facilitate provision of quality HIV/AIDS care as well as treatment and preventing HIV transmission from infected mothers to a child and saving pregnant mothers and newborn lives.
The function was attended by former presidents Ali hassan Mwinyi and Benjaman Mkapa, founder of the foundation, business men and woman, government officials, ministers and Members of Parliament, representatives of civil societies and donors.
A number of business companies including media outlets pledged to finance the programme.