Officiating at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) annual joint scientific conference opening session in Dar es Salaam yesterday, he said that integrated approaches and involvement of various stakeholders are essential in that quest.
As health is a cross-cutting issue, the private sector needs to shoulder part of the funding, he said, noting that the current challenge is financing vaccines to help address the rising challenges. The conference has to examine how the country grapples with Covid-19, polio and non-communicable diseases, he stated.
Pioneering research is a solution to prominent global diseases where the government alone cannot address these challenges, such that the private sector must work with public institutions and encourage research, he said.
“Tap into digital technologies to address these challenges but also work together with other stakeholders in addressing the issues,” he told the gathering, themed as multisectoral approach for health, in relation to ‘Agenda for health systems strengthening to achieve universal health coverage.’
Health minister Ummy Mwalimu had earlier announced that NIMR research indicates the need for administering one dose of the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) to girls, explaining that as most girls were not returning for the second dose, NIMR had to conduct research as to whether a single dose was enough to shield them from cervical cancer.
The ministry had meanwhile weighed the factors and come up with a minimum health insurance package of 65,000/- contribution annually, facilitating access to services across health facilities countrywide, from lower level to referral hospitals, she stated.
The conference brings in stakeholders for research dissemination and knowledge sharing, deliberating on how to set up contributions enabling universal health coverage, examining capacity of health insurance plus the supply and use of health inputs and products, officials said.
Stakeholders will recommend solutions for major health challenges on the basis of various thematic challenges like prevalent, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, while others are neglected tropical diseases. Inputs of traditional medicine will be examined, as well as microbial resistance to drugs.
Still other areas to be covered are environmental health and climate change, non-communicable diseases, nutrition, plus the wide field of reproductive, maternal, child and adolescent health.
NIMR organizes annual joint scientific conferences since its inception nearly 40 years ago, with researchers, lecturers, health managers, practitioners, graduate and postgraduate students meet with policy makers and the media, NIMR officials specified.