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 and Social Welfare
Overall term: 2003 to 2016

With an annual average per capita income of 860 US dollars (World Bank 2013), Tanzania is one of the world's least prosperous countries. Life expectancy is 57 years. The under-five child mortality rate has been reduced considerably in recent years, and HIV prevalence has dropped throughout the country. Despite this progress, malnutrition in children under five has only slightly decreased. Maternal and newborn mortality rates remain high, and the proportion of women who give birth in health facilities with support from trained staff has only risen marginally. Family planning needs to be more firmly established. Around 1.5 million people are living with HIV, ten per cent of whom are children. Young people, particularly young women, are culturally disadvantaged and have little opportunity to express their needs and concerns.

Poverty, impoverishment due to illness, and inadequate, unevenly distributed health care are having a negative impact on the population's health. The causes include underdeveloped social protection systems, the low performance capacity of the public administration, a shortage of qualified personnel, low per capita health expenditure and the largely untapped potential of the private sector and civil society for strengthening the health system.

Key conditions are in place for equal and sustainable access by men, women and young people to health services of an acceptable quality.

Led by the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and with support from GIZ and KfW Development Bank, the Tanzanian–German programme to support health makes a direct contribution to implementing the country’s health care reform. Germany's contribution is closely coordinated with activities by other development partners. GIZ is primarily promoting individual and institutional capacity building in the following areas:

  • social protection in the event of illness, and health financing
  • decentralised health governance
  • quality of health services
  • partnerships with the private sector
  • cooperation with civil society organisations.

Policy advisory services at national level are supplemented by capacity development at district level in the Tanga, Lindi, Mtwara and Mbeya regions.

The target group of the activities with a regional and district focus are the some seven million inhabitants of the Lindi, Mtwara, Tanga and Mbeya regions, forty per cent of whom are poor. Children and young people account for a very high share of the population here, with 67 per cent under 25. The activities at national level are designed to bring improvements that will benefit the entire population.

Results achieved so far
The programme has contributed to improving the health situation in Tanzania:

  • From 2005 to 2010, under-five child mortality dropped from 147 to 81 per 1,000 births. The immunisation rate is high, with more than 75 per cent of all children aged 12-23 months receiving comprehensive immunisation.
  • The share of deliveries performed with trained personnel has increased from 46 to 51 per cent.
  • The percentage of married women who use modern contraceptive methods (contraceptive prevalence) increased from 20 per cent in 2004/2005 to 27 per cent in 2009/2010.
  • Disadvantaged population groups increasingly enjoy social protection in the event of illness. Twenty per cent of the population are now covered as members of the Community Health Fund.
  • As a result of promotion of cooperation with the private sector, pregnant women and children under five now have better access to services offered by private service providers.


Susanne Grimm