Zanzibar eyes doubling budget for medicines, equipment

13Jan 2018
Crispin Gerald
The Guardian
Zanzibar eyes doubling budget for medicines, equipment

ZANZIBAR President Dr Mohammed Shein yesterday said that the government will double the health sector budget for drugs purchases to Sh12bn from the current 2017/2018 financial year of Sh7bn.

ZANZIBAR President Dr Mohammed Shein

He said the move would provide assurance for the availability of better health services in hospitals and health equipment.

This is going to be a great achievement in the health sector as the budget in 2016/17 for medicines was only Sh4.9bn.

The president made the pledge at a ceremony to commemorate the 54th year of the Zanzibar revolution held at Abeid Amani Karume ground in Zanzibar.

The commemoration was attended by number of retired presidents of the United Republic including Dr Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete. It was also attended by President John Magufuli, Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa.

“The step is one of government efforts to improve the availability of essential medicines and other equipment in government hospitals,” Dr Shein said. 

He however said that HIV/AIDS was still a major threat in Zanzibar that killed manpower of the nation.

He said the HIV/AIDS scourge was still there, adding that 0.4per cent of the Zanzibari population lived with the disease, hence a need for collective efforts to fight it.

“Meanwhile, for malaria disease the government has continued to control its spread,” the president said.

According to him, the government had been overwhelmed by an increase in both out- and in-patients whereby the number of out-patients had increased from 533,000 in 2010 to 705,000 in 2017, which was an increase of 32.21 per cent.

“For admitted patients there was an increase from 51,641 in 2010 to 68,158 by 2017, which is an increase of 32 per cent,” the president explained. 

“So far, the government has managed to control malaria disease, the infection stands at 0.4 per cent while at the same time the government has taken strong measures to control HIV/AIDS, which is now at 0.4 per cent,” he said.

In line with the improvement of health sector, the president said that the demand for water in Zanzibar was still high as the daily demand for water reached 234 million litres while production was 162millon litres per day.

He detailed that availability of water in the north-western region is at 63percent while northern unguja is at 48percent and southern Unguja is at 50percent.

In an effort to increase the availability of water in the archipelago the government, through a loan obtained from the African Development Bank (AfDB) totaling U$23.67million, the government had  constructed 9 wells while another 23 will be rehabilitated.

President Shein pledged that the government will continue to conduct exploration for oil and natural gas in the island.

Top Stories