MPs: Procure Covid-19 safety kits for medics

01May 2020
Felister Peter
The Guardian
MPs: Procure Covid-19 safety kits for medics

URGENT procuring and distributing more Covid-19 testing kits to designated centres as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers must be made top priority, MPs have demanded.

This position was expressed yesterday by members of the parliamentary committee on public services and community development, suggesting immediate measures to facilitate availability of PPE to health workers.

They also appealed for procurement of essential required medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators, ventilators and treatment drugs.

Peter Serukamba (Kigoma North, CCM), the committee chairman, said to tackle the novel coronavirus the government must strengthen health systems as per requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“To combat the pandemic, WHO advises governments to enhance provision of health services, ensure adequate trained health workers, medical supplies and strengthened information and data issuance systems,” he said.

Contributing to the debate on the 2020/2021 financial year budget estimates for for the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, he urged the government to come up with special packages for health workers such as risk and extra duty allowance to motivate them as frontline fighters against Covid-19.

Halima Mdee (Kawe, Chadema) said the government should stop politicizing the deadly coronavirus. She raised concerns on poor information sharing between the government and the House, making it difficult to properly advice on how to combat the disease.

Mdee said the government should disburse remaining funds for the ministry as monies under the proposed budget will be disbursed in July. Issuance of the funds will boost efforts against Covod-19 spread, she empbasized.

Julius Laizer (Monduli, CCM) said to enhance testing for COVID-19 the government should procure mobile clinics to test any suspected individuals in various parts of the country.

Peter Msigwa (Iringa-Urban, Chadema) faulted poor information sharing systems to the public as well as the legislature.

“We are representing the public but yet we are not furnished with enough information on the disease. The government should come with a comprehensive report indicating the magnitude of the problem as well as the number of jobs losses caused by pandemic,” he urged.

Dr Haji Mponda (Malinyi, CCM) said funds which were earmarked for various suspended national celebrations should be directed to the fight against COVID-19 at district level.

Dr Mponda urged the government to come up with strategies to rescue workers and preparations to admit and treat patients fast.
“Scientific evidence shows that 80 percent of patients can be cured at early stages,” he affirmed.

Shadow Health Minister Cecilia Pareso advised the government to enhance testing for COVID-19 to control free spreading of the disease.

“It is dangerous for the country to depend on a single national community library for testing. It will take long for the country to combat the disease if the majority is not tested,” she declared.

Mobile clinics to reach and test those in interior rural areas are similarly vital, she told the House.

Ummy Mwalimu, the minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children had earlier said the government has enhanced COVID-19 testing capacity at its national community laboratory.

She assured the public of continued provision of medical treatment for coronavirus patients where in Dar es Salaam treatment centersare located at Temeke, Mlonganzila and Amana Referral Hospital.

To enhance testing and treatment of the disease, the government has so far trained 2,113 health workers from 11 regions, with about 47 from Dar es Salaam, the minister specified.

WHO announced COVID-19 as a public health emergency of international concern late January and as a global pandemic towards mid-March, she added.