Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) to get new Maternity and Disabled Hospitals

The following promising and long awaited news report was published on the AllAfrica.com website, copied here FYI, it still is a copyright of the said website please give them all due credits:
Dar es Salaam will soon have two specialised hospitals following a partnership between the government and the Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation Trust. The two -- Baobab Maternity Hospital and CCBRT Disability Hospital -- will form what will be referred to as a regional designated hospital.

According to CCBRT chief executive Erwin Telemans, the Baobab Maternity Hospital will provide a safe place for mothers to deliver besides offering high quality care, reproductive health education and HIV/AIDS services. The construction of Baobab Maternity Hospital is scheduled to begin early 2010 and end by 2011.

CCBRT is one of eight special hospitals in Tanzania providing services for people with disabilities such as obstetric fistula, eye care, cerebral palsy and congenital deformities such as clubfoot. It also provides orthopaedic appliances and physiotherapy. There is also a strong emphasis on rehabilitation, with home-based care and community support offered through CCBRT's community programmes. CCBRT is now the largest indigenous provider of disability and rehabilitation services in the country, with 120,000 people directly accessing its services each year.

The organisation runs a special payment system where the poorest are treated for free while those who can, contribute only what they are able. Well-off patients pay the full cost of treatment, thus subsidising the cost of treatment for the poor. CCBRT is also supported by a number of development and corporate partners. In Tanzania, about 10 per cent of the population lives with impairments while one to two per cent of children live with a disability.

According to research, 50 per cent of all disabilities are curable. Apart from life changing cataract, cleft lip and club foot surgeries, it only takes minor interventions in some cases to help a child with impairment enrol in school. Devices such as glasses, wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs or even relatively cheap medicine for children with epilepsy can improve a child's prospects in life.The disabled 10 per cent deny the economy more than the diminished work force.

In Tanzania, it is estimated that households with a member who has a disability have a mean consumption rate of less than 60 per cent of the average of the country. In most cases the care givers, predominantly women and girls are required to stay at home to take care of the family member living with a disability.

The need for addressing HIV care and extreme poverty is similarly crucial. A reduced workforce leads to reduced production, which leads to reduced economic output and exports. While data indicates falling HIV infection rates in Tanzania, approximately 10 per cent of pregnant women in Dar es Salaam are HIV positive.