‘Domestic investment into health systems and services is crucial’

23Mar 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
‘Domestic investment into health systems and services is crucial’

MINISTER for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ummy Mwalimu has insisted the need for domestic investment into health systems and services to avoid depending on external actors to take care of Tanzanians’ health.

Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children Ummy Mwalimu (R) and Comprehensive Community based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT) Chief Executive Officer Brenda Msangi unveil a plaque to launch the new CCBRT’s private clinic building in Dar es Salaam yesterday. Looking on (L) is the Ministry’s Director of Curatives Services Dr. Grace Maghembe. Photo: John Badi

Mwalimu was speaking at the launch of CCBRT hospital’s new private clinic building which is expected to improve access to health care since everyone citizen deserves quality care, regardless of their financial situation.  

 She commended CCBRT and its partners for the initiative and a job well done, emphasising that health is crucial for citizens to be able to participate in society and community life.

“We all know, for many years, CCBRT, with the support of its partners and the government has been providing free and subsidised services to vulnerable Tanzanians. In recent years, the world economy has shifted, leading to a decline of aid from abroad. Construction of this clinic will contribute the deficit, and is something others can learn from”, said the minister.

Mwalimu noted that with innovative efforts, Tanzania will soon no longer have to send people abroad to access quality healthcare. Already, the number of people seeking treatment abroad has gone down, due to the improvement in Tanzania’s health systems. 

“The government, in collaboration with partners such as CCBRT, has continued to implement various development projects aiming to improve the Tanzanian health sector”, she said.

CCBRT aims to re-invests revenue from the private services into the provision of free and subsidized services to low-income vulnerable Tanzanians. 

The four core areas of subsidized services for those in need are ophthalmology, orthopedics and physical rehabilitation, plastics and reconstruction, and maternal, newborn and child health (including Fistula). CCBRT Chief Executive Officer, Brenda Msangi, commended the government and CCBRT partners for their continuous support. 

She said that since its inception in 1994, CCBRT has continued to be committed to providing equitable access to affordable, quality medical care, as well as preventing disability and promoting inclusion in Tanzania.

She said the inception of CCBRT’s private clinic in 2004 –with a capacity of 15,000 patients annually, was the first step in reducing financial dependency on donor funds ensuring self-generated financial sustainability.

 The private clinic provides an option for Tanzania’s growing middle class and those with the ability to pay for the same high quality of services, but at a higher price, an option for Tanzania’s growing middle class who are able to pay services and for amenities such as air–conditioning and Wi-Fi. 

CCBRT is committed to providing equitable access to affordable, quality medical care, as well as preventing disability and promoting inclusion in Tanzania. 

The private clinic will impact not only people in Dar es Salaam, but communities across the country.

Msangi thanked partners such as Bank of Africa, CBM Canada, TCF, Rotary, Bank of Africa, and TCF for enabling the facility to have greater space and updated infrastructure, which enable CCBRT to now have a private clinic with the capacity to treat a good number of patients as well as increase contributions to the charitable work of CCBRT providing both CCBRT’s free and subsidized services.

The private clinic is predicted to serve 50,000 patients annually. It will generate additional revenue to subsidize services for patients in need.