Strengthening Partner Engagement to Improve Quality of Health Services 

Government Contact

Dr. A.M. Makuwani

Acting Assistant Director, Reproductive Health and Child Health Section, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Tanzania

The Challenge 

Tanzania is making constant strides in improving maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health and nutrition. Infant mortality rates have decreased from 99 to 51 per 1,000 live births, and under-five mortality rates dramatically declined from 147 to 81 per 1,000 live births (DHS, 2010). However, maternal and neonatal mortality rates remain high. This is further compounded by insufficient and inequitably distributed healthcare providers which affects service coverage, quality, and use.   

The GFF Partnership Response 

To address the increase in maternal mortality elevated maternal health and challenges, the government of Tanzania continues to strengthen its work with partners for improving the quality and coverage of health services aligned with the Tanzania investment case - One Plan II. The investment case aims to provide guidance on the implementation of maternal, newborn and child health programs across different levels of service delivery and ensure coordination of interventions and quality services across the continuum of care. The GFF partnership played a critical role in mobilizing financiers to pool funding in support of the Tanzania’s investment case and supports the improvement of data for decision making, including identifying data quality bottlenecks, developing a data visualization platform, and improving resource tracking. It also supports the government in developing a five-year Health Financing Strategy and promoting a national health insurance bill.  

Partners that contribute to the complementary financing is comprised of Power of Nutrition, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, and the governments of Canada, Denmark (DANIDA), Ireland, Switzerland, and the United States (PEPFAR, USAID). The GFF is co-financing US$40 million to support a $200 million World Bank project for the Strengthening Primary Health Care for Results program in country.  

The Result 

Tanzania has managed to improve coverage across the board. For example, antenatal care improved from an average of 36 percent of pregnant women receiving at least four antenatal care visits in 2014 to 64 percent in 2018. There has also been an increase in the share of births occurring at a health facility from 71 percent in 2017 to 80 percent in 2018. The proportion of pregnant women who received intermittent preventive treatment (IPT2) between 2014 and 2018 climbed from 36 percent to 83 percent.  The average share of pregnant women receiving iron and folic acid at ANC visit increased from 57 percent in 2014 to 75 percent in 2018.  Finally, the number of facilities that achieved at least a 3-star rating has jumped to 1370 facilities in 2018 from only 137 in 2016.  

This collaborative effort has led to improvements in maternal and child health service coverage, quality, and services, as measured by the indicators that have been routinely monitored and are described in the GFF Annual Report and highlights that to continue progress toward further service improvements, more targeted efforts are needed to expand the coverage of some services in certain regions where coverage remains below 50 percent while sustaining the quality improvements that have been recorded in the last two years.