The Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation (BMF) stated its commitment to join hands with the Government of Tanzania and partners in implementing the health policy priorities set for the FY 2015/16. This was said by Dr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro, CEO of BMF during the Joint Annual Health Sector Policy Review (JAHSR) meeting held on 11th February 2016 at the Karimjee Hall in Dar es Salaam

The half day meeting that was chaired by the Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC), Hon. Ummy Mwalimu (MP) involved more than 100 representatives from the Government, Development partners and Non-State Actors. The meeting was meant to review and discuss the health sector priority policy for the year 2015/2016 and launch the 4th Health Sector Strategic Plan (July 2015 – June 2020).

Ummy MwalimuThe group photo of the chairperson Hon. Ummy Mwalimu (center), together with representatives from the government and development partners at the JAHSR meeting held at Karimjee Hall in Dar es Salaam.

Speaking at the meeting Hon. Ummy Mwalimu (MP) said the Government is committed to serve the citizens and for the current FY, priorities set will be attended to without fail. She called for complementarity in the support from all stakeholders to ensure Tanzanians health and well being is enhanced. The Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Muhammed Bakari presented 8 policy priorities, which amongst them will be Human Resources for Health with focus on ensuring equitable distribution of health workforce and effective Human resource planning at the Local Government authorities coupled with incentivizing those working in remote areas.

Suleiman JaffoThe chairperson Hon. Ummy Mwalimu (MP) cutting a tape to officiate the launching of the Health Sector Strategic Plan Four (HSSP IV) July 2015 – June 2020. On the right is the Chair of the Development Partners Group –Health, from Irish Aid Carol Hannon and left is the Deputy Minister PORALG, Hon. Suleiman Jaffo (MP)

In her statement the CEO of BMF, Dr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro said that BMF is committed to continue supporting the government in realization of the policy priorities. She urged that the government needs to ensure that it enacts a Compulsory attachment policy of health professionals that graduate to work in rural areas for a defined period of time before being fully registered. At the same time, she called for the Ministry of Health and stakeholders to ensure operationalization of the national pay and incentive policy of 2010 to begin with the health sector. She pleaded to the Minister for Health to ensure multi-sectoral involvement in setting up framework that will guide the implementation of these policy commitments. Impliedly both policies will ensure availability of adequate and motivated health professionals in rural and/or underserved areas. Dr. Ellen further reiterated that BMF is keen to share the best practices learnt in the past 10 years on innovative programs on Human resource for Health.

ceoDr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro, CEO of BMF speaking during the JAHSR held in Dar es Salaam.

During the meeting, Hon. Ummy Mwalimu took the opportunity to officially launch the Health Sector Strategic Plan IV (HSSP IV) which provides strategic direction to the government and its counterparts on advancement of the health sector in Tanzania for the coming 5 years period, as from July 2015 – June 2020.

In closing up the meeting, the Deputy Minister Presidents Office Regional Authority and Local Government (PO-RALG), Hon. Suleiman Jaffo (MP), he expressed commitment of the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG) in ensuring health services are delivered with quality in local government authorities through the decentralization and devolution system. He further mentioned that in the past 100 days since the new 5th phase Government was established under the vibrant leadership of President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, PORALG have strengthened accountability and health financing collection at the regional and district hospitals.

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