Thursday, December 7, 2017

Govt loses Sh340bn in fighting epidemics

Minister of Health, Community Development,

Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children Ummy Mwalimu talks to a Chamwino resident Cecilia Isaya on the importance of modern latrines during her visit in Dodoma yesterday. PHOTO| HERIETH MAKWETTA 

By Valentine

2017Dodoma. The government is annually losing at least Sh340 billion in treating diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid as a result of poor sanitation throughout the country.

It has been revealed that, 60 out of each 100 patients, who attend daily to health facilities in the country are suffering from poor sanitation related diseases, according to Health, Community Development, Gender, Seniors and Children Ummy Mwal-imu.

She revealed the grim statistics yesterday during her special tour of Umekwa Village in Haneti Ward in Chamwino District, 95 kilometres from Dodoma Municipal Council. She added that most households within communities still lacked latrines, whereby in rural areas health facilities operated without having standard bathrooms, latrines, hand washing basins and placenta pits.

However, she warned that by the government drive to industrialise the economy might not see the light of the day if communities failed to adopt requisite sanitation practices. “It’s a major setback that Sh340 billion is being used annually to treat diseases that can be avoided. The amount could be used to sup-port other development projects in the county. More than 60 per cent of Tanzanians live in areas of poor sani-tation,” she said.

In another development, Vice-President Samia Suluhu will today launch a national sanitation cam-paign (phase II) at Chang’ombe Pri-mary School in Dodoma Municipal Council. The three-year ‘behaviour change and communication’ campaign, will see at least Sh5.8 billion spent on improving sanitation throughout the country. “The campaign will come with a number of fresh initiatives, which include adjustment of relevant (sani-tation) regulations targeted to assure each household has a latrine, but also, there will be a series of training programmes for health workers and public awareness campaigns.

Poor sanitation in many parts of the country is one of causes of pre-ventable diseases, which cost the gov-ernment and families both human and financial resources. It is high time people improved sanitation in their neighbourhoods.