DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania- Tanzanian Members of Parliament urged the government to urgently act on the dreadful shortage of workers in the health sector, saying, the situation was putting the lives of many poor Tanzanians at risk.

Speaking in the National Assembly, in the capital Dodoma, the MP's observed that, shortage of medical personnel in the health sector was caused by the job cut of workers with fake academic credentials in public service, implemented by the government last year.

Over 9,900 civil servants with reportedly forged academic credentials were dismissed from jobs and government payroll, after President John Magufuli ordered their immediate dismissal, with the health sector being the most affected.

The MP's said, there was an urgent need for the government to hire medical personnel, to cater for the shortage across the east African nation.

Salma Kikwete, an MP on special seats for women, said, urgent measures were required to address the situation, by employing enough workers in the health sector, to save people's lives in the country.

According to the former First Lady, Lindi region was facing an acute shortage of health workers by 72 percent, which posed a major threat to the health sector in the area.

"Most of the health service provision centres in Lindi are facing acute shortage of workers. Immediate measures should be taken to address the problem," she said.

Fatma Tawfiq, another special seats MP, told the House, Dodoma region had a 60 percent shortage of health workers.

James Mbatia, an MP for Vunjo constituency, advised the government to strengthen participation of private sector in the health sector, to improve provision of health services.

"Health sector is among areas that need huge budget and investments. We will not achieve our vision for health or realise any of the sustainable development goals, if we do not confront challenges facing this sector," said Mbatia.