Thursday, September 14, 2017

Safe motherhood now gets Sh32bn


By Alawi Masare @AMasare

Dodoma. Members of Parliament on Wednesday showed their joy as the government announced doubling the budget for safe motherhood to Sh32 billion in the current financial year.

Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children minister Ummy Mwalimu said the move was aimed at improving service provision during delivery.

Ms Mwalimu was speaking during a seminar of Safe Motherhood Club whose members are lawmakers.

The workshop was organised by The White Ribbon Alliance which advocates for safe motherhood by ensuring availability of proper services in hospitals, health centres and dispensaries.

“Currently, we have 120 centres that provide operation services during delivery and the plan is to add 150 more in the next phase,” she said.

“We have blood banks in 7 regions and five other regions are in the pipeline. We will also secure an employment permit for health workers before October,” she added.

For her part, White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood coordinator Rose Mlay said they wanted to ensure money allocated for safe delivery was spent on the intended activity.

“Our advocacy also wants to ensure the money reaches hospitals in time,” she said.

The government has a new financing modality where some money for operational activities will be going directly to hospitals, health centres and dispensaries.

But Mr Juma Nkamia alerted that it should be handled carefully as some dispensaries did not have enough personnel.

“In some dispensaries, like in Chemba constituency, you find only a nurse who does not have even financial skills,” he said.

“This should be managed carefully to avoid misuse,” he added.

Many MPs were happy with the budget increase saying it was one of the achievements of their club.

“This is a great achievement and we should keep up helping our communities in ensuring safe motherhood,” said Ms Jenista Mhagama who is the chairman of the club.