Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender and the Elderly, Ummy Mwalimu said the machines will be distributed to some of the regional hospitals in the country.
The minister was responding to a question by the Kilolo MP, Venance Mwamoto (CCM) who argued that diabetes patients are increasing seriously in the country but shortage of the machines is one of the challenges.
“ What is the government doing to ensure many patients get treatment from other hospitals and help reduce congestions at the few health facilities with the machines like KCMC, Dodoma and Dar es Salaam?” he asked.
He pointed out that some patients are forced to travel long distances in search for treatment for kidney stones removal. In response, the minister acknowledged that there is growing cases of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, blood pressure and cancer in the country.
“I agree that there is need to increase provision of kidney stones removal services in the health facilities in the country but I would like to tell the House that soon we shall receive 60 machines from Saudi Arabia for the same service” said Mwalimu, adding that they will be distributed to regional and referral hospitals in the country.
However, she noted that the main challenge facing the department is lack of trained personnel to use the machines, adding that the government is in talks with Saudi Arabia to help in training those who will provide the service in the country.
“ We have requested Saudi Arabia that if possible to send our health workers to their hospitals and they also they send their experts to hospitals like KCMC, Muhimbili, JKCI and Bugando so that they can impact the knowledge” she noted.
In distribution of the machines, she said the government will consider areas that are not easily accessible for health services , saying it would be unfair to expect a patient to travel from Katavi to Mbeya, seeking the service.
She challenged members of the public to avoid such non-communicable diseases by regularly doing physical exercise as well as reduced consumption of alcohol and smoking.