AFTER a successful Universal Pension Scheme (UPS) which is covering all elderly people at the age of 70 and above, the government has introduced the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) that aims at reaching all people and communities in the Islands.
Launching the UHC at the 12th Joint Annual Health Sector Review conference held at Verde Hotel, Ambassador Amina Salum Ali-Minister for Trade and industries said the government is committed to see that all people are covered, regardless of their economic status.
“The government has been struggling to ensure all people can access improved health services in all areas of Zanzibar, free-of-charge.
But still we have to do more in the wake of increasing non communicable diseases (NDCs),” Ms Ali said.
She said that while there has been admirable achievement in curtailing Malaria and HIV with prevalence below one percent, the problems of NDCs has been increasing (such as Cancers, Diabetes).
It was said that UHC means equity in access to health services- everyone who needs services should get them, not only those who can pay for, the quality should be good enough, and people should be protected against financial-risk.
The Minister for Health, Mr Hamad Rashid Mohamed said, “We are really working hard to meet the expectations of the people by ensuring that they all get quality health care from health centres at the grassroots level.
UHC is an added measure to extend the services to family level. We expect to spend about 1bn/- for the project.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) liaison officer in Zanzibar, Dr Andemichael Ghirmay said at the meeting which attracted health experts from the health sector and stakeholders that UHC cuts across all health-related sustainable Development Goals (SDGs and brings hope of better health and protection for the World’s poorest.”