Taking stock of health sector achievements and challenges
Every year, Ministry of Health and partners meet to review progress in implementation of its Sector Strategic Plan and identify priority actions to be implemented in the following year. This year, the Joint Annual Health Sector Technical Review meeting was convened in Dodoma from 8—10th October 2019 to deliberate on the Health Sector Strategic Plan IV midterm review (HSSP IV MTR) and identify priorities for Health Sector Strategic Plan V that is expected to roll out in July 2020. In this meeting, WHO was awarded a plaque of recognition for its contribution in supporting midterm review of the current health sector plan.
The attendance in this key meeting reflected the growing understanding that ensuring effective health programs calls for participation of more sectors in the health outcomes. Sector ministries that participated included the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender Elderly and Children; President's Office Regional Administration and Local Government; Prime Minister’s Office; Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development; President’s Office-Public Service Management and Good Governance; Ministry of Energy; Ministry of Water; Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication; Non-Governmental Organizations; Civil Society and Private sector representatives.
WHO Representative, Dr. Tigest Ketsela and technical staff participated in this meeting and made a presentation on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and recommended how Tanzania can attain the health related goals.
The meeting reviewed the Health Sector Strategic Plan IV that is ending in June 2020 and made recommendations for the next Health Sector Strategic Plan V. The meeting also formulated policy recommendations for 2020/2021 that will be presented at the 20th Joint Annual Health Sector Policy meeting later in November.
The review noted that there is improvement of quality of health services in many areas. This is partially attributed to the star rating exercise which has often encouraged staff to work harder improve quality of health services. Health performance is also improving as evidenced by almost all indicators except for maternal and neonatal mortality. The challenges remain on health financing and human resources for health.
One of the key focus for the Health Sector Strategic Plan V will be to ensure more vibrant participation of community members at grassroot level in the efforts towards universal health coverage. Other priorities include improvement of governance, fair and sustainable health financing, adequate human resources for health, efficient and effective Monitoring and Evaluation/ Information, Communication and Technology, and high-performance health services delivery.