Hiring of health workers halted

Sunday December 16 2018

Deputy minister of State in the President’s

Deputy minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), Mr Joseph Kandege. Photo|File 

By Frank Kimboy @frankkimboy fkimboy@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. The government has directed district councils to stop the recruitment of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in projects that are being funded by the Gobal Fund.

The Deputy minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), Mr Joseph Kandege, confirmed the development yesterday.

He told The Citizen that the move was necessary due to the fact that the government had built health care centres almost in all villages across the country.

“If we continue hiring CHWs, the work that we have done (building health care centres) will not have any meaning,” said Mr Kandege.

He was referring to a letter signed by regional administrative secretary in Mbeya, to Mbeya and Chunya district executive directors asking them to halt the recruitment. The letter, signed on December 12, indicated that the region received directives from the ministry of Local Government directing them to suspend the process.

According to Mr Kandege, the directive was issued to all district councils in which such projects were being implemented.

Mr Kandege insisted that the government made the decision because it was focusing on employing permanent health workers.

“I’m afraid that there were some non-governmental organisations that announced that they were recruiting CHW but did not first consult with the government,” said Mr Kandege. He specifically to the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation.

When reached for her comment, the chief executive officer of the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation, Dr Ellen Senkoro, declined to comment.

The Global Fund and health partners in Tanzania yesterday signed grant agreements to work toward ending the epidemics of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in January 30. The grants, worth $525 million (Sh1.18 trillion), would cover the implementation period ranging from 2018 to 2020.

The new grants aimed at reducing the average malaria prevalence in Tanzania to less than 1 per cent by 2020 as well as reduce the TB incidence rate by 20 per cent and TB deaths by 35 per cent by 2020.

The investments would also seek to increase coverage of HIV services to achieve the 90-90-90 fast-track treatment targets – 90 per cent of people living with HIV know their HIV status, ensuring 90 per cent of those who know their HIV status access treatment and 90 per cent of people on treatment have suppressed viral loads – by 2020.