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

The aim of Tanzania’s National Health Sector Strategic Plan IV (2015 - 2020) is to facilitate universal access to basic health services that meet objective quality criteria and are more closely geared to the needs and expectations of the population. However, financial access barriers and substantial quality deficiencies in health care are impeding the achievement of this goal. Barely one fifth of the population is covered by health insurance or uses a community-based prepayment scheme. Health services are not subjected to systematic quality assurance. Likewise, binding quality standards and uniform assessment and quality 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 only making slow progress. In summary, the population still lacks access to quality health services.

Citizens’ access to quality assured health services is improved.

The programme picks up on the key objectives of Tanzania’s National Health Sector Strategic Plan. It supports the implementation in three focal areas: quality assurance, health governance and social health protection in the regions of Tanga, Mbeya, Mtwara and Lindi. The last area is promoted in cooperation with KfW Development Bank and the National Health Insurance Fund, whilst the British company Options provides consulting services on quality assurance.

Through advice to the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, to the Department of Health within the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government and to decentralised administrative structures in the partner regions, the programme contributes to more effective and efficient management and to better governance in the health sector. The policy advice is supplemented by strengthening of human and institutional capacity at the decentralised level.

The entire population of Tanzania will benefit from the national reforms, while the seven million inhabitants of Tanga, Mbeya, Mtwara and Lindi will benefit from the support directly provided by the programme. The proportion of poor people in these regions is very high (40 per cent), as is the share of children and youth. More than two thirds of the population is below the age of 25.

The programme has provided technical advice on the development of national strategies for health financing, 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. Implementation of electronic data processing in hospital administrations has made processes more efficient and significantly increased hospital revenues. The administration of the Community Health Funds, a decentralised health insurance scheme, has been improved. More people are now insured and thereby able use services without any crippling out-of-pocket health care expenditures.


Susanne Grimm