Capacity Development and Human Resources
Title: Tanzanian–German Programme to Support Health – Capacity development and human resources
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Overall term: 2003 to 2013
Since qualified specialists began to emigrate and HIV/AIDS to spread, district and regional health administrations have been acutely understaffed. It is not possible to offer countrywide anti-retroviral therapies: i.e. AIDS treatment. In the short term, the present personnel gaps can only be bridged if all the present specialist staff work more efficiently and productively. In order to be able again to recruit health specialists, more modern wage systems and further incentives must be created.
Publicly run and non-profit health facilities in the programme regions benefit from a larger workforce, which has also improved in quality.
The Tanzanian–German Health Sector Support programme provides capacity development activities and promotes human resources in the health sector, where plans currently exist to increase the number of specialised staff employed. Human resources development under the ongoing health sector reforms involves training facilities such as the School for Public Health and Social Sciences and other university-level institutions. These provide vocational and further training for district health personnel, and also support them in their later work.
The most important contributions made by the programme are a certified modular course in District Health Management, which is taught at the zonal health resource centres, and a Masters in Public Health now being taught at the Muhimbili School of Public Health and Social Sciences, which is a qualification of internationally recognised standard.
Currently, the programme is working to establish planning and monitoring schemes for human resources in the health sector that should contribute to improving the staffing situation.
Results achieved so far
The overall number of health workers who have successfully completed their further training in the Zonal Health Resource Centres is rising steadily. Between 1999 and 2007, the number of health personnel working in the programme region of Lindi more than doubled from 98 to 219. Of the 25 people who have so far graduated with Masters of Public Health degrees, 11 are now working as district medical officers in the districts of the programme area.
An internet-based platform, the Muhimbili Health Exchange Forum, has now become a well established resource for exchanging health-related information and providing national guidelines, strategies and documents. This also acts as an online facility for posting and answering clinical questions.