The health sector in Tanzania faces major challenges: old killers such as HIV/AIDs, malaria and TB are far from resolved; whilst in recent years the country has been able to make gains in reducing under five mortality, the life expectancy remains low at fifty-five.
There is a shortage of
health workers in the health sector
Since 2011, we have been working to change this through the Health Partnership Scheme.
In 2016, THET established an office in Dar es Salaam to deliver programmes and projects that support and are aligned to the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, the Elderly and Children’s (MoHCDGEC) priorities with a particular focus on health workforce development.
Since then we have been supporting the MoHCDGEC and the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) to train and deploy the new Community Health Worker cadre.
THET operates in 5 regions: Mwanza, Shinyanga, Geita, Simiyu and Kagera.
AIM: To strengthen the quality of service provision delivered by formal Community Health Workers (CHWs) in two districts of Mwanza and Simiyu region and to contribute to the evidence base on the value of CHWs in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
In 2016, THET was awarded a grant from Comic Relief to support the MoHCDGEC to train the first formal cadre of paid Community Health Workers (CHWs). From 2016-2019 we supported the capacity development of ten health training institutes and system strengthening at the district and regional level. This resulted in the training of over 1300 formal CHWs.
Based on the understanding developed through the implementation of this programme, we identified that there is still some way to go to realise the full potential of CHWs and to improve the services available to the communities they serve. There is also a critical shortage of empirical evidence on the impact that formal CHWs can have on the health and well-being of their communities.
To address this, we have developed a one-year pilot project that will:
AIM: To support the development an academic partnership between the UK and a Tanzanian partner which will lead to joint research activities with a focus on decentralised care and quality service provision.
Building on THET’s experience in Ethiopia and understanding that academic partnerships in global health are vital to ensuring that we are working toward evidence-based solutions for the challenges that people face in accessing high-quality, appropriate healthcare services around the world.
We have therefore developed a pilot project that will result in:
Read the announcement here.
For further information about THET’s work in Tanzania please contact our Country Coordinator, Linnet Griffith-Jones.
This report highlights the activities and impact of THET’s 2016-2019 Comic Relief funded project to support the Tanzanian Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC) to train and roll out the first formal cadre of paid Community Health Workers (CHWs).
Ruth, Community Health Worker, Kwimba, Tanzania
“I decided to become a CHW to support my community. The people we serve are facing a number of health issues, from severe diarrhoea and malnutrition to HIV. It is to pregnant women, though, that I feel that I can provide greater help. I want to advocate for them to make sure they have access to the care they need. I remember a few cases dear to me: one woman who has a three-week old baby and one who was seven-months pregnant. They both hadn’t seen a doctor so I referred them to the clinic. The first took my advice and went to the health centre. The other one, in spite of wanting to go, never had a chance to do so, unfortunately, as her husband wouldn’t allow her. As you can see, there are health issues, but it is even more complicated than that as many barriers to access are actually cultural. This is why it is so important for me to sensitise the whole community, men included. What we are doing is important and my ambition is to continue down this path and one day maybe become a CHW Coordinator.”