Supporting Task Sharing in Tanzania

{Photo credit: Brooke Huskey / MSH}Photo credit: Brooke Huskey / MSH

Tanzania’s Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, the Elderly, and Children (MOH) recently approved a health sector task sharing implementation plan with support from the Tanzania Technical Support Services Project (TSSP), led by Management Sciences for Health.
The plan will assist public health institutions to improve human resources for health (HRH), which will help increase essential HIV service coverage through improved service delivery. Implementation will begin in July 2017.

Peter Mbago, TSSP’s senior technical advisor for HRH, helped with completion of the plan, which will guide task sharing implementation through June 2022. The plan will guide the MOH in implementing the Task Sharing Policy Guidelines which were developed in January 2016 and modeled after the World Health Organization recommendations in task sharing and shifting.

Task sharing aims to mitigate the impacts of health workforce shortage through redistribution of tasks among the available health and social welfare workers for effective and efficient delivery of quality health services to Tanzanians.

Funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TSSP began in September 2016 and provides support to public health institutions in monitoring and evaluation, health information systems and information and communications technology, quality assurance and quality improvement, and HRH in order to increase coverage of essential HIV services.

[Figure 1. Shortage of health workers at dispensary level, 2014]{Source: Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, 2014: Tanzania Human Resource for Health and Social Welfare Country Profile 2013/14.}Figure 1. Shortage of health workers at dispensary level, 2014Source: Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, 2014: Tanzania Human Resource for Health and Social Welfare Country Profile 2013/14.The task sharing implementation plan describes how each of the eight policy recommendations in the Task Sharing Policy Guidelines will be implemented and tracks progress.

The eight major recommendations in the guidelines

  • Adopt and formalize task sharing
  • Create an enabling regulatory environment for the implementation of task sharing
  • Ensure quality of care during implementation of task sharing
  • Ensure the sustainability of task sharing activities
  • Organize clinical care services in the context of task sharing
  • Coordinate and integrate task sharing
  • Monitor and evaluate task sharing
  • Implement knowledge translation on task sharing
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