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Tanzania has set its digital health road map and is revving its engine, ready to drive forward.

By Breese Arenth, Program Officer, Digital Health Solutions

Mar 1, 2017

Posted in

At the core of Tanzania’s strategy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals is a vision of all health workers’ ability to access and meaningfully use the information they need to make the best decisions to improve health. In 2016, supported by PATH, the Government of Tanzania developed and published its digital health investment road map—seventeen investment recommendations for data systems and data use to improve health sector performance.

Routine access and use of high-quality data can play a pivotal role in supporting these goals by increasing quality and reach of care while reducing cost. Today people are making critical health decisions without access to quality information. Work like the BID Initiative has demonstrated the benefit of and laid the groundwork for this comprehensive, national strategy to strengthen data use for health.

One of the biggest components of the investment road map is to computerize primary health care. What does that mean? This means supporting health workers in their critical, quotidian responsibilities, like vaccinating children. With access to proven digital solutions such as the BID Initiative’s Electronic Immunization Registry, health workers can provide care, decision support, improve patient record-keeping, and enable accurate and timely reporting to management. Beginning with a pilot phase in three regions over three years, this approach would inform preparations for national scale to improve primary health care for all Tanzanians.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has already promised to invest. The next stop on the road is to begin implementing the foundational elements and secure additional resources to implement the rest.

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One thought on “Tanzania has set its digital health road map and is revving its engine, ready to drive forward.”

  1. Edwin Mashasi says:

    Hi,
    Congratulations for your initiatives and efforts to strengthen Public-Private partnerships as all mutually joining together to push forward the health care development through investing in Data development, agree 100%, presence of data will add an impact to the decision making, timely delivery of services and helping the government to set priorities and budget development based on facts

    We are all aware that current situations in Tanzania, the Internet and mobile penetrations are widely accessible up to remote areas. The presence of this telecom network will provide the opportunities for Health centres, Referral hospitals etc to access the internet and mobile services easily and timely.

    For examples, all the Public regional hospitals and Referral hospitals had an access to modern ICT infrastructures, and it has been connected to the National Broadband Backbone, thus, allow the hospitals to use the internet and other ICT related services includes ability of hospitals to develop Health IT software that will enable to run administration and health delivery in digital way including strengthening Electronic Data generation.

    Another advantage, through the National broadband backbone, hospitals have the opportunity to deliver the services through teleconference, video conference etc, the backbone is offering the quality services items of speed, capacity and timely delivery.

    The presence of tier 3 National Internet Data Centre will enable the hospitals to store their data, the data centre provides assurance of data security and accessibility.

    I believe that, under these data initiative programs, it is very importantly for the government to issue the directive for all government hospitals to invest in ICT development; either Health Policy should include ICT as the engine to enhance health delivery. It is through ICT in which BID will achieve its goals.

    Wish you all the best
    Edwin Mashasi
    emashasi@gmail.com

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