The handing over occasion was witnessed by the Minister for Health, Hon. Juma Duni Hajji, the Deputy Minister for Health, Dr. Sira Mamboya, the Principal Secretary for Ministry of Health, Dr. Mohamed Jiddawi, the Director of Preventive Services, Dr. Mohammed Dahoma, Directors of Units and Programme Officers from the Ministry of Health, Zonal Medical Officers, WHO staff and members of the media.
In his handing over speech, the WHO Representative, Dr. Rufaro Chatora, commended the Ministry of Health for placing maternal, newborn and child health high in the agenda. He then went on to highlight progress made so far in the implementation of the peer learning districts initiative including joint supportive supervision and field work undertaken in North A District in Unguja to establish baseline information and identify areas for immediate support; and provision of 1 desktop computer to support effective planning and routine data collection.
The speech also elaborated on the gaps identified in the area of supportive supervision, immunization and maternal, newborn and child health in Zanzibar, hence justifying the need for WHO support. Dr. Chatora stated that the vehicles will support the logistical, disease surveillance, and supportive supervision activities in the districts in Unguja and Pemba. He added that the refrigerators will address the challenge of positive storage capacity at district level and in the Rotavirus Surveillance Sentinel Site at Mnazi Mmoja Referral Hospital.
With regards to the temperature monitoring tools: 200 fridges tags and 1000 freeze tags handed over, Dr. Chatora explained that they will be used to strengthen the cold chain during distribution of vaccines and consequently ensure delivery and use of vaccines of good quality. He further elaborated that the caesarean section kits, delivery kits and blood pressure machines will improve delivery of maternal, newborn and child health in Zanzibar.
In his acceptance speech, the Minister for Health, Hon. Juma Duni Hajji, said that the vehicles and equipment handed over will strengthen health service provision in the districts and complement the country’s efforts in realising the Millennium Development Goal number 4. He further expressed appreciation to the World Health Organization (WHO) for the timely support to the people of Zanzibar and assured that the vehicles and equipment will be maintained and used for the intended purposes.