Disability units to dot all health centres

15Feb 2019
Henry Mwangonde
The Guardian
Disability units to dot all health centres

THE government is to set up rehabilitation centres in government health facilities across the country for people with disabilities to ensure they get quality health care.

Health, Community Developments, Gender, Elders and Children minister Ummy Mwalim together with Italian ambassador to Tanzania Roberto Mengoni (R) and chairman of Communita Solidali Nel Mondo of Italy Michelangelo Chiurchiu cut a ribbon to inaugurate Kila Siku community based rehabilitation centre at Kawe in the outskirts of Dar es Salaam yesterday. Photo: Selemani Mpochi

The sections for patients with disabilities—to be manned by among others, physiotherapists—will also cater for newborns with physical defects.


The Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ummy Mwalimu, revealed this yesterday in Dar es Salaam when launching the Kila Siku Community Based Rehabilitation Centre, run by the Roman Catholic Church at Kawe suburb in Kinondoni district.


The centre offers rehabilitation services for disabled children with focus on the protection and empowerment of PWDs. This is achievable through a holistic action aiming at ensuring equal opportunities, active participation in community life and fulfillment of their rights, the minister stated.


There are only two rehabilitation centres in Dar es Salaam against a population of more than five million, she said, noting that the government is preparing to open rehabilitation centres for the disabled in all the 510 health facilities across the country. The project will be implemented in a three year period, she stated.


"We want to ensure that each and every health facility has this kind of centre to ensure PWDs get quality services and at the same time feel they are part and parcel of society," she affirmed.


About 5.8percent of Tanzanians are disable, she pointed out, noting that to begin with,  the government will construct 50 centres in the first year.


The project is funded by an Italian non-governmental organisation cited as Com.Sol (community solidarity) while rehabilitation will be conducted with support from the Comprehensive Community-Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT). The medical facility has an all-inclusive programme fostering inclusion of people with disabilities in Dar es Salaam region.


It is expected that about 2,250 children and young people with disabilities as well as their families will benefit from the centres, while about 428 health workers will be trained on disability prevention and care treatment.


In his remarks, Italian Ambassador to Tanzania Roberto Mengoni said that Italy will continue to work with Tanzania especially in ensuring that PWDs are empowered.


Earlier, the Regional Nursing Officer for Dar es Salaam, Dr Victoria Bura said the main challenge with rehabilitation centres has been the lack of trained professionals in handling PWDs.


 "We thank the Italians for the support they have been offering us including training to workers of the centres," she said.


  Com.Sol Director Michelangelo Chiurchiu said his organisation will support a work group engaged in developing a national policy on rehabilitation services in collaboration with La Sapienza University of Rome.