Bukoka — KAGERA Regional Commissioner (RC) Brig-Gen Marco Gaguti has thanked the government for setting aside over 11.8bn/- for improvement of the health sector during the past five years (2015-2020).
He explained that out of the total amount at least 5.9bn/- was utilised for the construction of three district hospitals in Bukoba Rural, Karagwe and Kyerwa councils.
Equally, he said the budget for medicines had increased from 2.3bn/- in 2015 to 8bn/- in 2020 and appealed to the residents to check their health status from time to time and ensure the infrastructure was well-maintained.
“By ensuring that health facilities are equipped to deliver comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care services, we can effectively address health complications of childbirth, including severe bleeding, infection, prolonged or obstructed labour, eclampsia and asphyxia in newborns,” he said.
During his recent tour of Kagera Region, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa directed district councils in the country to ensure they supplied materials, including beds, iron sheets and nails where residents were constructing dispensaries at village level.
He noted that there were about 15,000 villages in the country, adding that the government could not afford to construct a dispensary for each village due to limited resources.
Instead, the government concentrated on the construction of health centres at ward level. Data shows that lack of affordable, quality health care continues trapping many in poverty.
Globally, as many as 100 million people a year are pushed into poverty due to high healthcare costs and about 30 per cent of households in Africa and Asia have to borrow money or sell assets to pay for health.
Countries across the continent still struggle to drive down maternal and child mortality, malaria and malnutrition while addressing the rising burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and cancer.
In addition, although Africa accounts for 24 per cent of the global burden of disease, it has only three per cent of the global health workforce and 11 million Africans are pushed into poverty and remain poor every year due to healthcare costs.