Mwanza. The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has launched a Sh25.3 billion project that aims at minimizing diseases, maternal and child mortality rates and improving access to reproductive maternal and newborn health (Impact), in Mwanza Region.
The project will cover district councils of Kwimba, Magu, Misungwi, Nyamagana, Ukerewe, Sengerema, Ilemela and Buchosa and is jointly being financed by Agha Khan Foundation Canada and the government.
The launch was made yesterday in Mwanza Region by the Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, the Elderly and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, whereby the key areas in the project will include improving infrastructure and the system of providing services to pregnant women and children in over 80 health service centres in the region.
Earlier, the AKDN Representative, Ms Edna Selestine, told Ms Mwalimu that the project would reach out to 650, 000 women that had attained the child bearing age, 80,000 under one-year-babies and 300,000 men.
Ms Selestine also told the minister that the project would involve the provision of training on capacity building to medical service providers at the community level and members of over 700 social care groups serving society at the primary level.
“The media, religious leaders and various social groups are among the key stakeholders that will be involved in the implementation of this project,” said the AKDN Representative.
According to Ms Selestine, access to emergency services and transport to health service centres, particularly in rural areas and gender equality in accessing health services, are among the priorities of the project.
Launching the project, Ms Mwalimu called upon other stakeholders to step forward and cooperate with the government through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy, saying maternal and child mortality rates were still health challenges in the country.