JPM pledges to create medical tourism hub

01Oct 2020
Henry Mwangonde
The Guardian
JPM pledges to create medical tourism hub

​​​​​​​CCM presidential candidate John Magufuli has promised to improve health services in the Southern Highlands through infrastructure which will include expanding the Mbeya regional referral hospital to facilitate provision of specialized services and make the region a centre for medical tourism.

​​​​​​​CCM presidential candidate John Magufuli.

Dr Magufuli said if re-elected his government will proceed with disbursing a 20bn/- fund for expansion and improvement of infrastructure at the Mbeya referral hospital, to bringing  specialized services closer to the people.

The package also involves constructing a maternity ward, theaters and purchasing health equipment such as CT-Scan and remote medical imagine (RMI) equipment at the facility.

“We want to improve services at the hospital so that people from neighboring countries come and get treatment here, in which all specialized services will be offered,” he said.

Dr Magufuli said in the next five years his government plans to make Mbeya an economic and tourism hub for the Southern Africa sub-region.

Citing plans in the CCM manifesto relating to Mbeya, Dr Magufuli said another 20bn/- will be set aside for expansion of Songwe airport to facilitate direct inter-international flights.

He said in the last five years, budgetary funds for drugs in Mbeya increased from 1.4bn/- in 2015 to 3.5bn/- in 2020 “and a lot is coming if they elect a CCM led government.”

Dr Magufuli who is seeking re-election said projects taking up about 252bn/- were implemented in the last five years in Mbeyao region.

Focusing on education, he said plans are underway to connect 1,500 secondary schools with internet across the country.

He said the CCM election manifesto wants the government, upon re-election, to administer the construction of a 40 kilometer road from Uyole to Songwe that should start immediately, and upon completion it is expected to more than halve the congestion in Mbeya city.

The candidate said that he is committed towards transforming Mbeya into a great city through the Tanzania Strategic Cities Project (TSCP).

In the next five years a CCM led government will construct 26 special advanced level secondary schools for science subjects, one for every region in Tanzania Mainland, he pointed out.

About 585 villages have now been connected to the national electricity grid in Mbeya in the last five years, from 124 villages which had electricity in 2015, he stated.

Regarding water supply, he said projects taking up about 22.5bn/- were implemented in the last five years and more was coming to further addressing water challenges in the city.

He similarly pledged to turn Usangu basin in the region to a breadbasket by embarking on irrigation farming for 10,000 hectares, while setting out plans for expanding livestock keeping in the basin.

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