13 November 2017
In 2016, THET established an office in Dar es Salaam to deliver programmes and projects that support and focus on health workforce development. A year on we caught up with Country Director, Godwin Kabalika to find out how has found his first year at THET.
I joined THET in March 2016 because I am passionate about helping to improve the status of health in Tanzania. Whilst we have made significant progress on priority health indicators, as well as seeing an increase in the allocation of Government spending on health, there are still vast gaps, for example:
There is a shortage of 82,000+ health workers in the health sector.
Thus, our main challenges remain, a shortage of human resources for healthcare as well as for medicines and medical supplies, and poor reproductive health services and governance throughout the country. However, Tanzania is currently implementing the Health Sector Strategic Plan IV 2015-2020, which aims at providing all households with accessible and affordable essential health and social welfare services.
I have really found that the partnership approach, that THET is known for, is suited to overcoming these challenges. Through the collaboration of multiple actors we have seen, just in the last year, increased knowledge amongst health care workers in Tanzania.
For me, one of the most pleasing elements of the past year has been growing THET’s country programme work. With seven Health Partnership Scheme projects, our partnership with the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation and new collaborations with UNICEF and the Overseas Development Institute, the impact and reciprocal exchange of knowledge has been staggering. Networking with high level stakeholders –Government, Private sector, Multi-lateral and Bilateral organizations active in the health sector and beyond has also been so rewarding.
The biggest achievement for me in the last year has been the production of a country strategy which provides a clear road map for implementation of our activities in the next five years, it was also a fantastic step to successfully register THET as an NGO in country.
Of course there have also been challenges, the main one being the often insufficient coordination and harmonization of different implementing partners at a technical level.
We have worked with many partners but in particular we are grateful for the support received from the Ministry of Health and the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) to sustain the community health worker cadre.
Looking forward, we have 3 main priorities for the country-office in the coming year:
My main hope for the future is that Tanzania will have good health system in place that will see improved access to health services at all levels and that this in turn will help the country to attain the middle income status as set out in the Tanzania vision 2025.