DAR ES SALAAM residents have urged the government to consider reducing medical examination costs at public hospitals and health centres so that the majority, especially from low income families, can be able to access the services.
The call was made in Dar es Salaam yesterday during a two-day free medical screen at Mnazi Mmoja grounds organised by the Regional Commissioner (RC)’s office and other health partners.
The exercise which started early in the morning saw a large turnout of patients attending medical examinations, a sign that majority are in need of the services. The services organised by Afya Check in collaboration with the Dar es Salaam RC , Mr Paul Makonda, had positive response, where those who turned up also included people from other regions of the country.
Ms Anna Usiri (62), a resident of Vingunguti was among residents who visited Mnazi Mmoja grounds for health screening. “I came here at around 5 am to secure an early number, but I found a huge number of people who were already here. This kind of exercise is important to help us know our health status.
This huge turn up means people have health problems, but due to high medical examination costs and hardship of life, people rarely visit hospitals, but if the costs at public hospitals would be reduced, probably we will be having fewer people here today,” she said.
However, Ms Usiri advised organisers of the event to extend days of the exercise because two days are not enough considering the number of people who turned out. Dar es Salaam RC, Mr Makonda said the number of people who turned up was beyond their expectation.
“There are a number of claims concerning today’s exercise, the number of people who responded to this exercise is huge and far beyond our expectation, but we are looking for other alternatives to make sure whoever came here today receive the services they came here for,” said the RC.
Expounding further, he said more than 10 diseases were diagnosed during the exercise, adding that residents should check their health frequently to spot diseases at early stages.
Mr Makonda said by doing so, the government will spend less money in citizen’s medical treatment, adding that the amount saved can be channelled to other development projects.
On his side, Dr Isaac Maro from Afya Check said the exercise intended to influence citizens to have the culture of checking their health regularly. According to Dr Maro, more than 70 doctors were present at the grounds to help fellow citizens.
“We have specialists from various respectable hospitals in the region. If the patients are diagnosed with a problem, they are given an appointment for further diagnosis and treatments,” said Dr Maro.