Organization of Health Systems (OSD)


WHO supports the health reform processes in the country. This area of work includes developing human resource for health (planning, fellowships, advocacy for equity of deployment and retention), supporting health systems development, especially at district level, strengthening of managerial processes in the health sector, and building partnerships.

Promoting and strengthening evidence based-medicine and health interventions including facilitating linkage to and processing designation of WHO Collaborating Centres enables the country office to access knowledge and information for sharing.

Health system: evolution, key functions, main actors, goals, and principle challenges

The principle challenges facing the health system are the HIV/AIDs catastrophe, human resources insufficiency and de-motivation and insufficient funds to meet the growing burden of disease. In Zanzibar resource constraints in health (human and financial) are significant.

The Ministries of Health and Social Welfare (Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar) have shifted emphasis from supporting curative care inclined institutions to public and community health by promoting organizations collaborating with Local Government, extended network of Public Services, NGO’s services and more recently private service providers. The Ministries are in the process of transformation from centralized pyramidal structures to decentralized, devolved managed care systems with central functions of policy guidance, regulation, oversight and support, and supervision including monitoring and evaluation.

The national Health policy of 1990 was revised in 2002, subsequently the Mainland Health Strategic plan was developed in 2003.Goals outlined in the policy include:

  • Access to quality primary health care for all
  • Access to quality reproductive health service for all individuals of appropriate ages
  • Reduction in infant and maternal mortality rates by three quarters from current levels
  • Universal access to safe water
  • Life expectancy comparable to the level attained by typical middle-income countries
  • Food self-sufficiency and food security
  • Gender equality and empowerment of women in all health parameters.

Districts and Health Facilities are responsible for planning and management of district health care and health services respectively.

Main actors include Central Ministry of Health, President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government, NGOs and Faith Based Organizations, Development Partners in Health both Bilateral and Multilateral.