MEMBERS of Parliament (MPs) have pushed for more health facilities in rural areas to improve access to health services.
Speaking in the National Assembly in Dodoma yesterday, Tunduru North MP Ramo Makani (CCM) and Special Seats MP Rose Kamili (Chadema) said Bassotu, Nakapanya and Matemanga wards and Tunduru District were facing a health challenge as existing facilities hardly coped with high demand.
The CCM MP said Tunduru District Hospital needed quality health services and support facilities at Nakapanya and Matemanga clinics were overwhelmed.
"We need to know the government’s strategy to increase health centres and dispensaries in wards and villages in compliance with the national health policy and the CCM election manifesto."
For her part, Ms Kamili in her basic question noted that there had been an increase in social and economic activities such as mining, fishing, agriculture and business which in turn attracted more people, thus posing a health threat such as an outbreak of communicable diseases.
Thus, she wanted to know when the government would offer funds for the construction of children and maternity wards as well as health workers’ houses at Bassotu Dispensary.
Deputy Minister in the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government) Josephat Kandege told Parliament that health guidelines were clear on dispensaries.
He said: "Considering that the health facility is 55km away, the government will conduct an assessment to improve the dispensary's infrastructure," he said. "The plan will be to make it a health centre."
Mr Kandege explained that the government had released 140m/- to construct two wards at Tunduru Hospital.
"We spent over 500m/- on the rehabilitation of Matemanga Health Centre and we have released at least 200m/- to construct a children and maternity ward and a surgical room at Nakapanya Health Centre," he said.
The deputy minister noted that the government recently handed over an ultrasound machine at Tunduru District Hospital as well as a medical store to help improve health services in the area.
At least 1.3bn/- was spent on the construction and renovation of three health centres in Tunduru District, the House was told.