Speaking while officiating at the launch of the programme, Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa issued eight directives that he said would help control new cases as well as contain the problem among those already affected.
He called on Tanzanians to change their behaviors towards intake of alcoholic drinks as well as smoking cigarette. The PM also said that people should form the habit of doing physical exercises at least 30 minutes in a day, three times a week.
Majaliwa also noted that there is need to have jogging clubs or groups, calling on ward and village leaders to coordinate this. On the other hand, he called on all district councils in the country to improve public open spaces for exercise and games.
Given the nature of the disease, he said people should routinely go for medical checkups and where one is found safe, he or she should strive not to get the diseases and when tested positive, one should see how to live with the diseases.
According to the PM, there is also need for public education and awareness of the problem as well as call for road users, especially motorists to be carefully allow those jogging on the roads to do so without any hindrances.
Majaliwa also directed schools in the country to have jogging sessions every morning to allow students gain physical fitness as well as avoid the diseases.
“ The cost of dealing with non-communicable diseases is so high that many people cannot afford, thus the best we can do is to change lifestyle as well as doing exercise regularly” he noted.
He explained that for instance, those who attend kidney clinics due to complications caused by such diseases spend at least 43m/- per year, an amount that any ordinary citizen cannot afford.
The premier also said diabetes alone will cost the country billions of money in the near future, stressing the need take precautions taken by the public.
He also hinted on the universal health coverage, saying the plan is to start at the end of this month. “Very soon we will adopt the system where all people in the country will have health insurance” he said.
Earlier, the Director Curative Services, Grace Magembe said the launch of the programme is aim to see how to control communicable diseases that has become another serious cause of deaths in the country.
She said the event is part of the week-long free testing for the diseases and public education currently taking place at the Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma.
“The aim is to help create awareness of such diseases and end new infections,” she said, adding that the diseases are caused mainly by lifestyle.
On the five year digital health strategy, she said it will help the country accelerate its progress and leadership in digital health, ensuring that the country continues to digitalize health care and improve health outcome.
“The strategy establishes the government of Tanzania as a global leader in digital health and paving way for better patient outcomes,” said the director.
One of the critical components of the strategy is the governance, which adds teeth and rigor to the government’s new digital health strategy.
Two governing bodies that will be primarily responsible for implementing the strategies are the National Digital Health Steering Committees (NDHSC) and the National Digital Health Secretariat (NDHS).
In order to ensure effective implementation of the strategy, she said the government will also launch the Technical working group, online platform that will digitalize all workings of health sector technical working groups.
To avoid duplication of efforts, the government will also launch the digital health initiative and digital library to ensure there is transparency and stakeholders have access to information on existing health initiatives and all documents.
The new strategic plan aligns with the Tanzania Development Vision 2025, the Health Sector Strategic Plan(2015-2020) and other key policies advancing the country’s efforts to build an end , interoperable digital health system.