The Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation (BMF) in its efforts to continue strengthening health systems in the underserved area through a collaborative project with the Ministry of Health handed over newly constructed 60 staff houses in Lindi region on 11th March 2016. This is an initiative to enhance staff retention in remote areas to combat shortage of health workforce financed by the Global Fund to fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Round 9.
The half day ceremony took place at Mnali dispensary in Lindi region and it was graced by Hon. Jordan Rugimbana, the Regional Commissioner of Lindi region and attended by local villagers and officials from the Government.
Hon. Jordan Rugimbana Regional Commissioner of Lindi cutting a tape to officiate the handing over of 60 constructed staff house in Lindi Region.
In his speech during the inauguration ceremony, Hon. Rugimbana thanked the Settlor of the Foundation, H.E Benjamin W Mkapa, the former president of Tanzania for his vision to establish an Institution that helps improves the lives of Tanzanians. He continued expressing his gratitude to the Foundation for its continuous support to Lindi region and other regions of Tanzania and further requested that BMF to continue joining hands with the President, Hon. John Pombe Magufuli who has clearly been touched by aspect of improving the health status of Tanzanians in general.
He urged the Local Government Authority (LGAs) on the proper utilization of the staff houses and ensuring they are used for the intended purpose. He directed the district officials to ensure the availability of health workers, equipment and drugs to the health centers that have benefited today.
“The district should set aside enough funds as per the guidelines to ensure maintenance of these constructed staff houses and other building is done accordingly in order to provide better health services to the citizens” said Hon.
Villagers, anxiously waiting to witness the handing over ceremony at Mnali Health Facility
Addressing the guest of honor, local government officials and villagers, the Deputy Chairperson of the BMF Board of Trustees Dr. Adeline Kimambo said that Mkapa foundation was established by the Former President of the URT H.E Benjamin William Mkapa in 2006 with the aim of complimenting the government’s efforts in strengthening health systems in Tanzania particularly in the underserved regions. One among other efforts of strengthening health systems is the reduction of shortage of health workers in the underserved regions through provision of scholarship to health allied students who after completion are required to work in areas with high need of health workers, also the recruitment of health workers who are posted to the remote areas and construction of staff houses as a means of attracting workers to work in the underserved regions.
Rahel Sheiza Director of Programs BMF, greeting Hon. Jordan Rugimbana the Regional Commissioner of Lindi, standing beside them is Dr. Adeline Kimambo, Deputy Chair of the BMF Board of Trustees.
In her speech she continues that BMF through support from Global Fund Round 9 have constructed 60 houses in Lindi which are distributed as follows: Kilwa(10), Lindi DC (10), Lindi MC (10), Nachingwea DC (10), Runngwa DC (10) and Liwale DC (10) in Lindi. This house will help to reduce the gap of shortage of staff houses within the region and attract more skilled health workers.
The GOH, Hon Jordan Rugimbana giving the handing over certificate to Mr. Allen Ndomba, the Legal Officer for Lindi MC, who represented the Executive Director of Lindi Municipal Council
Lastly the Mkapa Foundation to certify that it has completed the assigned task by the Ministry of Health it handed over the Certifcates of handing over to the Ministry of Health. The Guest of honor facilitated that process and finally handed over the Certificates of handing over to the Districts Executive Directors (DED) of the six districts that have benefit with new staff houses.
The community around and villagers bursted with joy as they witnessed receiving the staff houses.
‘We are so happy to have the staff houses for the health staff and we thank Mkapa Foundation for considering Mnali health facility, as this will lead to a better service in our village’….said Mr. Rashid Mkulungwa Kajole, the village chairperson