Tanzanian-German programme to support health

Programme description

Title: Tanzanian-German programme to support health
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Tanzania
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children
Overall term: 2016 to 2019

Tanzania. Satisfied Community Health Fund member in Nachingwea. © GIZ

Context

Tanzania’s National Health Sector Strategic Plan (2015 – 2020) aims to facilitate access for the country’s 50 million people to basic health services that meet objective quality criteria and are more strongly geared to the needs and expectations of the population. However, financial access barriers and considerable deficits in the quality of health facilities are impeding the achievement of this goal. Barely one fifth of the population has health insurance or uses a community-based prepayment scheme. The health services are not subjected to systematic quality assurance. Binding quality standards and uniform assessment and quality-related reporting systems have not yet been established. While important basic conditions are now in place in the administrations, the implementation of the decentralisation reforms is making only very slow progress. The population still lacks access to quality-assured health services.

Objective

The citizens have improved access to quality-assured health services.

Approach

The programme builds on the chief objectives of Tanzania’s National Health Sector Strategic Plan. It contributes to institutionalising quality assurance, social protection in the event of illness and participation by civil society in the health system and to implementation in the partner regions of Tanga, Mbeya, Mtwara and Lindi. The programme supports the partners with quality assurance, health administration and social protection in the event of illness. The latter area is promoted in cooperation with KfW Development Bank and the National Health Insurance Fund. The British firm Options provides consulting services on quality assurance. It advises the Ministry of Health, the Department of Health of the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government, and the decentralised administrative structures in the partner regions. It thereby contributes to more effective, efficient management and to better governance in the health sector. The policy advice is supplemented by strengthening of human resources and institutional capacity at the decentralised level.

The entire population of Tanzania will benefit from the national reforms while the seven million inhabitants of Lindi, Mtwara, Tanga and Mbeya will benefit from the support for the partner regions. The proportion of poor people in these regions, at 40 per cent, is very high, as is the share of children and youth. Over two thirds of the population is below the age of 25.

Results

The programme has provided technical advice on the development of national strategies for health funding, quality improvement, human resources development and cooperation between the public and private sector. In so doing, it has helped to shape key reforms for the health sector. In the partner regions, quality management systems have been institutionalised in hospitals and measurable quality improvements achieved. Changing over to electronic data processing in hospital administrations has made processes more efficient and significantly increased hospital revenues.

The administration of the Community Health Fund, a decentralised health insurance scheme, has been improved. More people are insured and are able to take advantage of services without any financial risk.