Tanzania medical practitioners wade into rising respiratory concerns in the country

Tuesday February 16 2021

MAT president Dr Shadrack Mwaibambe.

By Jacob Mosenda

Dar es Salaam. The rising respiratory challenges in the country have awoken medical experts, who have advised on the best way of dealing with the problem.

In recent days the scenario has sparked a debate in many parts of the country including Parliament, where Mbulu Urban MP (CCM) Zacharia Isaay expressed his concern over what he termed as growing deaths from “pneumonia,” asking the government to openly explain the disease.

The MP said more people were dying from respiratory complications in his constituency.

Now, the Tanzania Medical Association (MAT) late on Monday issued a statement, affirming that the challenge was occurring as a symptom of diseases such as pneumonia, asthma, heart disease, and the patient's final stages of death or Covid-19.

In a statement, MAT president Dr Shadrack Mwaibambe said such challenges existed in the health sector, but, he explained, would not be addressed in a single day.

According to Dr Mwaibande, those challenges that put the health of doctors at risk must be addressed with care and those responsible for resolving them have to execute their duties.


Dr Mwaibambe said despite the growing number of patients facing the challenge, MAT was urging doctors to adhere to the oath of professionalism and continue to care for patients regardless of their race, ethnicity or type of disease they have while focusing on preventive measures against contagious diseases.

"In preventing outbreaks, especially new epidemics, no country is 100 percent sure of its approach.  Every country is trying its best level to find a way to understand the disease in consideration of the way of life that its people live," he said.

Dr Mwaibambe urged the doctors to use their skills (Modern Medicine) which is effective and reliable to educate patients and Tanzanians in general to always visit health care facilities as soon as they get symptoms.

"The medical association urges all citizens in general to allay fear, avoid unnecessary gatherings and instead should wash hands, wear masks, uphold small numbers at funerals as well as adhere to all other directives issued by the ministry and other health stakeholders," Dr Mwaibambe urged in the statement.

Dr Mwaibambe also said new outbreaks could not prevent the spread of other diseases such as malaria, typhoid, HIV, pneumonia, diabetes, high blood pressure and more.

"Thus, MAT urges Tanzanians to visit hospitals as soon as they feel serious changes in their bodies and take precautions to protect themselves and others," he said.

In addition, Dr Mwaibambe explained that the rise in sugar lowered the body's immune system and thus putting the affected person at risk of contracting various diseases.

He noted that it had been shown that sufferers (sick people) were more vulnerable to respiratory infections…