MULTI-BILLION shillings hospital that has been built at Chanika in the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, to offer maternal and newborn services will commence operations mid next month.
The state-of-the-art hospital, constructed through an 8bn/- grant provided by the Republic of Korea through Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA ), aims to cut down maternal and infant mortality in the country.
KOICA Tanzania Office Coordinator, Shabani Sarungi told journalists who toured the facility yesterday that construction work is 99.9 per cent complete, including fixing of medical equipment.
“The hospital will commence operations next month, prior to its official inauguration in October, this year, when KOICA President will be visiting Tanzania,” Mr Sarungi said. He said that the hospital has been fixed with hightech equipment among others Obstetric and Gynecology Ultrasound, X-rays and ECG machine and KOICA had already conducted capacity building to more than 70 medical personnel to operate the machines and provide services to mothers and infants.
KOICA Project Manager, Suma Mbatiani said that the hospital project designed under the slogan, “One Mother One Bed” will offer unique services and also cater for multipurpose centre of excellence in maternal, newborn and child health.
“Expectant mothers and children have been facing a number of challenges related to health services such as sharing beds ... this will never happen at this new facility. The hospital has been designed to offer friendly maternal and newborn services,” Mbatiani said.
He said that the Korean government has been supporting Tanzania in various sectors such as education, health and water but the official development assistance has been channelled to the health sector, particularly on mother and child health because the country is still facing highest maternal deaths.
She said that the 150-bed capacity hospital will provide emergency and basic obstetric care and other important services such as anaesthesia. He said that the hospital is expected to employ 100 health personnel, adding that so far 78 staff have undergone capacity building at Amana Hospital and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre.
“One of the component of the capacity building is customer care ... we want the staff of this hospital to have good customer care for improved service delivery,” Mbatiani said.
She said Chanika project will set a benchmark for other maternal and newborn projects currently being implemented by KOICA in various parts of the country such as Dodoma, Simiyu, Mbeya, Shinyanga and Dar es Salaam.
The construction of the hospital by China Hunan Construction Engineering EA Limited kicked off in February, last year.