Dar es Salaam. Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has directed the Dodoma City Council executive director to allocate land specifically for the Aga Khan Development Networks (AKDN) to invest in a bid to, among other things, help the country achieve universal health coverage.
The Premier issued the directive yesterday during the inauguration of the Sh192-billion worth expanded (Phase II) Aga Khan Hospital building in Dar es Salaam, insisting that the government wanted to keep on working closely with the Network to enhance improvement in various key sectors.
“We ask you (AKDN) to expand your network to our Dodoma capital by building a highly advanced hospital, like you have done here, and help us achieve a universal health coverage for our people,” he said.
He disclosed the directions he had given to Dodoma City’s executive director Godwin Kunambi to allocate a place for AKDN to expand its health services.
“I’ve directed the executive director in Dodoma to ensure that AKDN gets enough space to invest in key areas to improve lives of our people,” he said.
For her part, Princess Zahra, also a member of the board of directors of the AKDN, said that Phase II building that began in 2012, as part of the Hospital’s evolution, when the Aga Khan Health Services embarked on a Sh192 billion expansion was designed to help the government of Tanzania to improve its people’s health.
“The new building has transformed the Aga Khan Hospital from a 74-bed hospital to a 170-bed tertiary care teaching hospital that offers the facilities to successfully provide advanced clinical programmes in cardiology, oncology, neuro sciences, critical care (including neo-natal critical care), and maternal and child health,” she said.
Princess Zahra said that the expanded facility was supported by relevant diagnostics, integrated operating rooms and sophisticated accident and emergency departments that would all mitigate the number of Tanzanians seeking medical tourism abroad.
“A part of the expansion, 35 outreach health facilities across Tanzania have been planned, 23 of which are already operational and Aga Khan Health Services will spend Sh2.7 billion on specialised training of healthcare professional who would complement our goal to enhance the achievement of universal health coverage in the country,” she said.
Further, the minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, the Elderly and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, said that the government still welcomed investment from key stakeholders in order to improve the people’s health.
“AKDN’s 170-bed capacity will help us curb the shortages that still exist in our hospitals and also its provision of training to health specialists is another area of concern. We want to keep collaborating for the betterment our country,” she said.