Tanzania: Our Impact

 {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 Credit: MSH Staff}Photo Credit: MSH Staff

Management Sciences for Health has been working closely in collaboration with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) on the introduction of the new dispersible pediatric fixed-dose combination. Through MSH’s projects across identified high-burden countries, we have been providing assistance on updating treatment guidelines and essential medicines lists, registration of the reformulated product, financing and reprogramming grants, quantification, and training healthcare providers on the medicine and its use. 

 {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.

 {Photo credit: Brooke Huskey/MSH.}Suzanna Tungu, a pharmacy assistant in an outpatient pharmacy at the Shinyanga Regional Hospital in Tanzania. Susanna receives capacity building support and on-the-job training from her supervisor, Luciano Lorde, who was trained by the Tibu Homa project in supply chain management.Photo credit: Brooke Huskey/MSH.

Tanzania is among six countries with the highest malaria morbidity and mortality in the world. It is estimated that malaria kills 60,000 to 80,000 of the 10 to 12 million people who fall ill from the disease each year in the country. Children are particularly vulnerable to malaria. Though the overall under-five mortality rate is improving in Tanzania—it declined by 28 percent between 2003 and 2010—it remains high in the Lake Zone at 120 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to the 2010 Tanzania Demographic Health Survey (TDHS).

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman, Ethiopia.}Photo credit: Warren Zelman, Ethiopia.

For more than eight years, the Supply Chain Management System (SCMS) has been saving lives through stronger supply chains. Funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), SCMS is supporting rapid scale-up of HIV/AIDS programs, creating a reliable global supply chain where none existed, leveraging economies of scale to reduce costs, and serving as an emergency provider of choice for AIDS programs. SCMS is managed by the non-profit Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM)—a partnership of John Snow, Inc. (JSI), and Management Sciences for Health (MSH).

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