The Benjamin William Mkapa HIV/Aids Foundation has donated 219.3m/- for upgrading health centres and improving health services in the districts of Singida and Iramba in Singida Region.
Speaking at a ceremony to hand over three tricycle ambulances and a refurbished maternity wing at Ikungi Health Centre, Foundation board chairman Maj-Gen (rtd) Herman Lupogo said the donation was in line with the Foundation’s vision for better maternal and childcare.
He said they had spent 92,640,131/- to train health care professionals and purchase materials and facilities related to the services for expecting women and children who were at risk.
“Our institute, working with Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) under the sponsorship of US-based World Lung Foundation, has initiated a programme to train 16 health officers from Ikungi and Ndago health centres to build capacity and be able to save the lives of mothers and babies,” said Lupongo.
Out of the total sum, 105.7m/- was spent to renovate the maternity ward at IHC and 21m/- was used to purchase the three tricycles temporarily used as ambulances for carrying patients to the centre and other regional hospitals.
For his part, Singida district commissioner Paschal Mabiti called on Singida men to send their wives to local clinics during pregnancy.
“Pregnant women should go to dispensaries, health centres and hospitals for safe delivery,” emphasised the DC adding: “In these facilities, when complications arise, they can be handled as quickly as possible.”
The project has been successful despite some setbacks, according to a report by Ikungi Health Centre senior medical officer Dr Nicholas Mabula.
He said many of the problems were attributed to inexperienced health officers and training programmes would enable health care workers to be more skilful and efficient to handle patients.
The maternal and child care project has been going on since 2007, according to World Lung Foundation programme manager Dismas Masumbuko.
He said its aim was to help build maternity wards and operation theatres and provide training to health workers at local health centres. Currently, the programme is run in the regions of Kigoma, Morogoro, Pwani and Singida.