Dar es Salaam. The Doris Mollell Foundation in partnership with the Segal Family Foundation has donated 15 medical equipment and oxygen concentrator machines for pre-term babies in five council hospitals.
The machines worth Sh60 million, each is capable of serving two children at a time with the aim is saving the lives of those children especially in remote areas where services have not been reached.
The machines will be allocated in district hospitals in Katavi, Dodoma, Kigoma and Mbeya; the goal is to ensure that deaths resulting from the lack of respiratory equipment are prevented.
Speaking on Monday while handing over the medical equipment to the government, Ms Doris Mollel said by the end of this year they will have donated about 100 such machines to districts and island hospitals.
She said the machines are very important in saving the babies’ lives because it helps them breathe. One of the challenges that leads to the deaths of those children is respiratory issues due to their lungs being less mature.
"This support is the second phase of our donation so until the end of the year we will have donated more than 120 machines to district hospitals. Basically, the challenges of these premature babies are many and I thank the government for allocating a budget next year for these babies," she said.
For his part, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Aifello Sichwale said the machines are very important for infants as 20 percent of inpatients need respiratory support so in order to enhance care must have enough medical equipment.
Dr Sichwale said the government in the next financial year 2022/23 has allocated Sh23 billion for the purchase of medical equipment for specialized infant care rooms and the procurement process has already begun as well as ensuring access to medicines, with the aim of ensuring the Millennium Development Goals of reducing infant mortality are met.
"We are grateful for the efforts of various stakeholders to continue to support the availability of medical equipment for infants, so the government will continue to invest in staff so that they can raise children who are born prematurely to receive treatment," he said.
He said currently the government has also renovated health facilities to help infants get proper care. At the moment every council hospital building must have facilities for infants. At present the plan is to ensure that district hospitals have a special room for infants, including premature.