As part of its achievements this year, the Ministry of Health said that it registered commendable progress in the fight against infant mortality rates through a vigorous immunisation campaign and decentralisation of services to the local levels.
Speaking at a press conference to highlight the achievements realised by the ministry in 2009 and to table projections for next year, the Minister of Health Dr Richard Sezibera attributed most of the achievements to the government programme of investing in the decentralisation of health services.
“We set out to ensure that all our health programmes are extended to the grass root level in all the 30 districts of the country, it’s a difficult task but we have reached at a promising stage and we shall strive for more,” he noted.
The treatment and immunisation of diseases like Pneumonia, malaria and diarrhoea which have been singled out as killer diseases among children has reached in all the 30 districts and can also be received on the community level in 18 districts.
This is expected to reduce infant mortality rates by 16 percent, according to the minister.
The ministry also recorded progress in the family planning programme as the number of families accessing family planning drugs increased from 480, 100 in 2008 to 588,783 in 2009.
“The rate at which people are giving birth is still higher than the growth rate of our country---it’s a relief that both men and women are adopting family planning,” the minister said.
To ensure the effectiveness of this programme, the ministry offers free family planning drugs in all public hospitals.
The HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment department has also realised progress as the numbers of people going for voluntary HIV testing and counselling increased this year from 3.3 million in 2008 to 4.2 million in 2009.