Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation co-chairman Bill Gates (File Photo)
By Mnaku Mbani
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced the donation of $350 million (Tsh777 billion) to the Tanzanian government to support the country’s health and agriculture sectors for the next five years.
The Foundation’s co-chairman Bill Gates announced this support on Thursday at the Tanzanian State House in Dar es Salaam during the meeting with President John Magufuli.
The funds would be used to improve health sector, mainly improving maternal health services, fighting against malaria, improving nutrition and fighting malnutrition for children.
On maternal health Tanzania ranks 6th globally for annual number of maternal deaths and the country has also the 10th largest number of newborn deaths globally.
Tanzania Maternal mortality rates has remained the highest at 556 deaths per 100,000 live births due to challenges such as quality of services, lack of access to emergence obstetric care and direct causes such as postpartum Hemorrhage.
The world second richest is visiting Tanzania to learn more about the country’s development priorities, including the use of data and technology to improve health systems and boost financial inclusion.
A key focus of his visit is to see, first-hand, the progress Tanzania has made towards achieving the health sector’s data vision, including how innovative practices are delivering on this strategy.
Bill also launched a new partnership with the Government of Tanzania which will complement the Better Immunization Data Initiative by accelerating the use of existing data and developing strong data policy frameworks.
On agriculture sector, Gates support will involve improving crops and quality seeds production as well as improving livestock sector for food security.
Gates said he was impressed by the economic transformation of Tanzania and he promised to come time to time to check the progress of his supports.