Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 24 July 2016 - In a ceremony attended by the Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Health, the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam was awarded Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation, the gold standard in hospital accreditation. The Hospital is the first hospital in Tanzania to achieve JCI accreditation.
The accreditation means that the Aga Khan Hospital has achieved a level of quality and patient service that is equal to the best hospitals in the world. In Africa, there are nine such hospitals (including the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam and the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi). These hospitals have been accredited after a rigorous evaluation of medical practices, facilities and standards relating to patient care that is safe and of high quality.
The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Bakari Kambi, was the guest of honour at the ceremony marking the accreditation. He remarked, “On behalf of the Government, I would like to congratulate this hospital in Dar es Salaam. It is a wonderful achievement. I am happy that the Aga Khan Health Services is working aggressively to elevate quality standards at the Aga Khan Hospital, which will have a positive impact on the overall healthcare landscape in Tanzania.”
Professor Kambi also expressed his appreciation for the offer made by the Aga Khan Hospital to work with the Government on improving safety and quality standards across all of Tanzania’s hospitals.
Sulaiman Shahabuddin, the CEO of the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam, reiterated the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN)’s commitment to improving health care in Tanzania: “We are working with all stakeholders, including the government, to improve the quality of health care at both our own health facilities and at a number of government health facilities.”
Mr. Shahabuddin also mentioned that, as a result of this partnership, two Government of Tanzania health facilities had recently received ISO 9001: 2008 certification. He mentioned that The Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam is a member of the Ministry of Health’s Quality Committee and will share information with the Ministry of Health regarding the JCI accreditation and other health outcomes.
“Accreditation is a long-term and difficult process,” said Dr Gijs Walraven, Global Director for Health for the AKDN. “What this means for patients is that when they go to the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam they receive quality health care of an international standard.”
“Not every hospital achieves JCI accreditation,” Dr. Walraven continued. “Over the last two years, we have introduced methods and systems that raise the quality of patient care to the level required by JCI. JCI is the global gold standard of hospital accreditation.”
JCI accredits hospitals and academic medical centres. It also accredits clinics, laboratories, ambulance services and emergency transport organisations, home care, long term care, and primary care facilities.
According to JCI, “Each hospital and health care organisation that applies for JCI accreditation takes about two years to prepare. During this time, the entire organisation works together to develop and implement the new high quality and patient-safe policies, practices, and procedures that are required to meet our standards.
“During JCI’s on-site evaluation, a team of expert JCI physicians, nurses, and health care administrators visits the organisation and evaluates more than a thousand measurable elements. Through interviews with staff, patients, and leadership, along with physical inspections and reviews of records, the survey examines every part of the organissation and provides a complete evaluation of the effectiveness of the organisation's patient safety and quality system.”
Agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network provide health services in Tanzania to nearly 400,000 people a year through its hospital, health centres, community health programmes, and medical training programmes. The goal is to work with the government and other partners to improve the quality of health care in the country.
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