The Tanzania mainland’s healthcare system, through its ongoing health sector reforms, aims to improve health outcomes. As part of these reforms, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) has developed its strategic plan—the Health Sector Strategic Plan III (HSSP III)—to guide priority setting and deployment of resources in the health sector. Although implementation of HSSP III promised to produce many positive results, realizing the best outcomes in the face of increasing pressures on the healthcare system requires a fundamental transformation in the way health care is delivered and managed.
Weak health information systems (HIS) are a critical challenge to reaching the health-related Millennium Development Goals because health systems performance cannot be adequately assessed or monitored where HIS data are incomplete, inaccurate, or untimely. The Population Health Implementation and Training (PHIT) Partnerships were established in five sub-Saharan African countries (Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia) to catalyze advances in strengthening district health systems. Interventions were tailored to the setting in which activities were planned.
The Tanzania EPI multiyear plan for 2010-2015 highlights the areas of focus for the immunization programme over the next 5 years based on previous programme performance, priorities for the health sector as stipulated in the Health Sector Strategic Investment Plan (2010/11 – 2014/15) and the global and regional goals set for child survival. The Decade of Vaccines Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), Millennium Development Goals (MDG) on mortality and morbidity reduction and the WHO Strategic direction 2010-2015 provided the overall strategic framework for development of the plan as well as priorities set in the HSSIP.
This eHealth Strategy is intended to lay a solid foundation for making the best possible use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) resources in Tanzania’s Health and Social Welfare sector. This Strategy
will modernise and increase the whole sector’s performance. For example, the role of ICT in supporting distance-education, training (both pre-service and in-service) and research, offers tangible benefits given the
remoteness of many parts of Tanzania where rural health service facilities are located. Further, eHealth will help trigger a wealth of new opportunities through sector-wide empowerment, collaboration, research and innovation.