Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Social Services and Community Development, Hon. Peter Serukamba (MP) yesterday commended CSOs, in particular, Sikika, for its role in advocating for a better healthcare environment in the country.

This observation was made during one of the CSO Week 2019 sessions on ‘Advocacy in the health sector: Sikika’s experience’ that aimed at sharing the experience of Sikika in the strengthening of health systems and structures through evidence based advocacy in Tanzania.

“Our healthcare budget keeps on increasing year after year. For example, in 2015, we spent only TZS 30 billion in medicine, but right now, four years later, the government is spending TZS 270 annually to buy drugs. This is a very significant achievement, that couldn’t have been done without your advocacy efforts,” said Serukamba.

“Because of a study report prepared by Sikika, we were able to follow their advice so as to meet the healthcare challenges that we were facing in the district. Sikika taught us the right channels of lobbying and after some time we managed to solve the lack of drug supply by 97 per cent,” said Kibanga.

“It is also because of Sikika that we were able to lobby the government through our Members of Parliament and other influential leaders from the area to solve the healthcare personnel crisis in Kondoa. In just one year the government gave us a budget to employ a workforce of over 140 staff to work in the health sector of Kondoa, this was the highest number of personnel recruited by any municipal in the country at the time,” explained Kibanga.

During the session, the Executive Director of Sikika, Irenei Kiria, also shared the organisation’s strategy in setting the agenda, influencing changes (boundary partners), as well as achievements and challenges in their work.