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Tanzania Set to Launch National NCD’s Programme

Tanzanian Government is making progress in prioritizing health prevention and promotion measures as on November 16 this year it will be launching a National Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD’s) programme with strong components of health promotion, prevention curative and rehabilitation.

Deputy Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Dr Faustine Ndugulile said this when he addressed participants during Health Symposium organized by Benjamin Mkapa Foundation (BMF) which  took place on October 1, 2019 in Dar es Salaam whereby the stakeholders discussed various issues related to health sector.

Deputy Minister of Health, Community Development,Gender,Elderly and Children Dr Faustine Ndugulile speaking during the Health Symposium

In this regard, we are looking at complementary efforts of community health workers whom we believe will further add value in health promotion and prevention besides curative care at the community level,” said the Deputy Minister.

Dr Faustine during the colorful event further acknowledged that for many years, the government has been focusing on curative services, rather than looking into health promotion, prevention and rehabilitation.

Unlike with the communicable diseases, whereby a patient can graduate from a health system once treated, with NCDs, the patient is tied to the health systems for life,” noted the Deputy Minister.

He added: “We need to now focus more on preventing people from getting sick rather treating the sick. Failure to do so, is a failure of the health system.”

Backing up the Deputy Minister’s arguments, During a Panel session discussion held at the Symposium Dr Mohamed Kambi, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) admitted that the Government lacks enough funds to address the alarming burden of health conditions affecting the society such as NCDs.

Panel session discussion held during the health symposium

Globally there is evidence of the growing burden of NCDs especially in developing countries including Tanzania.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that deaths from NCDs in the African region will increase by 27 percent by the year 2030, which is 28 million additional deaths.

In Tanzania, at least 31 percent of all deaths have been associated to NCDs, with the main killers identified as Cardiovascular Diseases at 9 percent and Cancers at 5 percent.

The Symposium was accompanied by the launch of BMF’s 5 years Strategic Business Plan (termed as SBPIII) extending from July 2019-June 2024 aiming at contributing to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, the Universe Health Coverage (UHC) targets and the country National Development Frameworks.

Referring to the newly launched business plan, BMF’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro said the plan is estimated to cost approximately Tsh156 billion (equivalent to 68million USD).

BMF CEO Dr. Ellen Mkondya Senkoro speaking during the Symposium

Whereas we recognize the encouraging progress at country level in combatting communicable diseases, but yet we are still lagging behind with few indicators of HIV, TB and Malaria, and now the rapid emerging crisis on NCDs,” said the CEO when she delivered her speech.

In attendance, the event brought together representatives of International Organizations, representatives of Government institutions and His Excellency the former President Benjamin William Mkapa who is the Settlor of Mkapa Foundation

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