Tanzania: Kikwete Hails Zantel’s Health Role
Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)
PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete has hailed Zanzibar Telecommunication Company Limited (Zantel) for their initiatives on improving health services in the country.Speaking to the Etisalat's Group Senior Vice- President Commercial and Zantel's Chief Commercial Officer, Ahmed Mokhles at the State House in Dar es Salaam, the President said the firm's commitment to health improvement via mobile technology demonstrates an example of a company committed in social responsibilities.
Zantel in cooperation with Etisalat has launched an award-winning programme on M-health, referred as Mobile Baby, which aims to deliver affordable primary healthcare solutions to even the remotest regions. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Mokhles said Zantel believes M-health has the potential to transform and better health services in all its operations in the Middle East, Asia and Africa including Tanzania.
By providing decision support tools to frontline health workers combined with Etisalat's extensive telecommunications portfolio, we can assist governments to extend the reach of the health system into the communities where people live," he said. He told the President that the success of M-health is through and the fact that it has effectively removed the geographical barriers between healthcare providers and patients since they can easily communicate via the mobile phones.
The M-health, according to him, was in line with the Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG5), which seeks to reduce maternal mortality in childbirth by 75 per cent and deliver universal access to reproductive health by 2015.The M-health application in practice works whereby the mobile phone is equipped with special software to help health workers to structure not only single interactions with children, but also maintain patient records and support extended care and is also structured to assist midwives communicators to ensure safer deliveries for women.
Mr Mokhles also told the President, who was accompanied by the minister for Communications, Science and Technology, Prof Makame Mbawara and his Deputy, Mr Charles Kitwanga, on the Zantel's plans of partnering with the government on the development of the ICT, education and human resources sectors in the country.
"Zantel has invested heavily in coming up with new technologies that aim to revolutionize the telecommunication industry but more importantly, change people's lives," he noted.In his comment, Prof Mbawara commended Zantel on their move, saying it has come at the right time, as the government is also making significant leaps on the ICT development.
From the meeting, the government and Zantel agreed to work together on mutually beneficial endeavours for developing the livelihood of Tanzanians