Tanzania: Our Impact

Women wait to receive services outside a health center in Tanzania. Photo Credit: Brooke Huskey/MSH

In January 2020, the Tanzania Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children (MoHCDGEC), in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the Technical Support Services Project (TSSP), identified the need for a national health cross-cutting dashboard that would allow for more efficient reporting from the District Health Information Software 2 (DHIS-2), which is the national health information data repository. We spoke with Isaelly Nagunwa, Strategic Information Advisor, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) TSSP, and Claud John Kumalija, MoHCDGEC Head

 {Photo credit: Megan Montgomery/MSH}Anna Mzeru, an Assistant Nursing Officer at Yombo Dispensary in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, at her dispensary’s HIV care and treatment clinic.Photo credit: Megan Montgomery/MSH

In 2019, to better assess how well health care facilities provide HIV/AIDS treatment, the Technical Support Services Project (TSSP) integrated HIV/AIDS indicators into the Star Rating Assessment (SRA) Tool. The SRA assesses service delivery of health care facilities and rates them on a scale of one to five stars. More stars correspond to better quality service. TSSP also supported the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children (MoH) in updating and digitizing the SRA tool to prepare for future rounds of health facility assessments, including dispensaries, health centers, and council hospitals.Funded by the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), TSSP worked with the MoH to support and strengthen the SRA tool system. MSH spoke with Salli Mwanasalli, DDS, TSSP Senior Technical Advisor, Quality Assurance and Improvement, and Dr. Talhiya Yahya, Head, Quality Management Subunit in the Health Quality Assurance Unit (HQAU), at MoH, about integrating HIV/AIDS service indicators into the SRA Tool and implementing the Android mobile app in Tanzania’s Coast and Mbeya regions.

{Photo credit: Christina Mchau}Photo credit: Christina Mchau

Preventing and controlling the spread of infectious diseases is key to protecting the health of both patients and health care workers (HCWs). This is an urgent need in Tanzania, and not only because of the threat of COVID-19, but also to make the country vigilant about stopping the spread of HIV, tuberculosis, and antimicrobial-resistant infections. From a 2011 WHO meta-analysis, 15 in 100 people who receive health care services in Tanzania will acquire an infection while doing so. 

 {Photo credit: Flor Truchi/MSH}Anna Mzeru, Assistant Nursing Officer at Yombo Dispensary in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, shows facility data for HIV-positive patients, including those lost to follow-up and those currently on first- or second-line antiretroviral treatment.Photo credit: Flor Truchi/MSH

By Megan MontgomeryDays are long for Anna Mzeru.A nurse at a health dispensary in the Bagamoyo region of Tanzania, she is one of only two medical staff at a facility that should have nine to be fully staffed. She and the other provider see as many as 120 patients per day, and attend an average of 15 deliveries per month. “We sometimes leave very late, but we can’t leave the patients here. They need to be seen,” she says.The significant shortage of health workers at the clinic is common. Tanzania has a 56% vacancy rate across both public and private health care facilities.

{Photo credit: Paul Bwathondi/MSH}Speratus Macarius, a lab technician at Kigamboni Health Centre in Tanzania, checks a test order on the facility’s new electronic medical records system.Photo credit: Paul Bwathondi/MSH

With support from MSH, Tanzania is overhauling its digital health infrastructure, including introducing electronic medical records (EMRs) and a patient ID system, in hopes of dramatically improving its health services, especially for HIV/AIDS.

{Photo credit: Peter Mbago/MSH}Two health tutors assess a nurse for undertaking task-sharing activities in Bagamoyo District.Photo credit: Peter Mbago/MSH

Tanzania’s Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, the Elderly, and Children (MOH) is committed to addressing the country’s critical shortage of health care workers. To this end it endorsed a task-sharing approach in January 2016 to optimize use of existing staff to accelerate universal health coverage, improve delivery of HIV/ AIDS services, and address other health needs.

{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.

 {Photo: Michael Bajile/MSH-Tanzania}Vincent Nanai conducts routine inventory in the Bariadi District pharmacy store.Photo: Michael Bajile/MSH-Tanzania

As a pharmacist with the Bariadi Council Health Management Team in Tanzania’s Lake Zone, Vincent Nanai is responsible for ensuring that all 23 public health facilities supported by the council are stocked with essential commodities. However, prior to Nanai’s training from the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Tibu Homa project, many public health facilities within the Lake Zone frequently ran out of medicines and supplies.

{Photo credit: Mark Tuschman}Photo credit: Mark Tuschman

Leadership, management, and governance skills are critical for medical, nursing, and public health professionals. The MSH-led, US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project with project partner Amref Health Africa developed an action-based learning, in-service certificate course to equip midwife managers with the leadership, management, and governance skills they need to deliver quality health services.

 {Photo credit: Brooke Huskey/MSH.}Cecilia tracks medication usage to prevent stock-outs of medicines and supplies at the Kiloleli Dispensary, Mwanza, Tanzania.Photo credit: Brooke Huskey/MSH.

Cecilia Lunda has wanted to be a nurse since she was a little girl when her mother, a nurse, sparked Lunda's passion for helping people. As she grew up, Lunda studied hard and made her dream come true—she has worked as a nurse at the Kiloleli Dispensary in the Mwanza Region of Tanzania for four years.

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