THE government of Tanzania contemplates providing ambulance boats for emergency medical care in Ukerewe Island, Deputy Minister in the President's Office, Regional Administration and Local Government, Suleiman Jafo told the Parliament yesterday
He said provision of healthcare, especially maternal health services in the largest island in Lake Victoria, was a big challenge whereby in some cases area residents were forced to seek the services in the mainland.
“The government acknowledges the challenges Ukerewe residents are facing in search of emergency services in the mainland. We will consider providing ambulance boats in the district,” he noted.
He said this in response to a supplementary question asked by Ukerewe MP Joseph Mkundi (CHADEMA) who challenged the government to consider providing such kind of ambulance services since the island’s residents were facing serious problems in response to emergency health needs.
The lawmaker argued that while most districts lacked ambulance services, Ukerewe was more disadvantaged by its nature, making it difficult to transport sick people and expectant mothers to hospitals away from the island.
Earlier when asking the main question, Iramba East MP Allan Kiula (CCM) wanted to know when the government would provide ambulance services to Mkalama District, which also lacks other work equipment.
“When will the recently created districts in the country, Mkalama inclusive, get ambulances to help aid provision of emergency health services?” he questioned.
In his response, the deputy minister said Mkalama District council had one ambulance with registration number SM 4263, which was situated at Kinyangiri Health Centre.
He explained that the council was working on plans to collaborate with other stakeholders in order to acquire another ambulance, which would be stationed at the Nyamburi Health Centre.
“On the other hand, the government is carrying out major renovations at the health centre that will see provision of surgical services there,” said Jafo. He also told the House that it was the government’s target to improve dispensaries and health centres in the country to provide surgical services.
Jafo reminded the district councils to have plans on how to improve provision of services at their areas and submit the plans to the central government for implementation.