PATH celebrates the extension of its digital health partnership with the Government of Tanzania

August 10, 2017 by PATH

Second phase of the Data Use Partnership will strengthen Tanzania’s ability to use data to transform its health sector

The Government of Tanzania's Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MOHCDGEC) and President's Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG), in partnership with PATH, has launched the second phase of the Data Use Partnership (DUP).

A catalytic $15 million investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will begin implementation of Tanzania's Digital Health Investment Road Map. During the first phase of DUP, PATH worked with over 80 government and development partners to assess the country's health information systems and support creation of a country-owned strategy to improve data and health sector performance. The Road Map outlines 17 priority investments, ranging from building capacity for using data to expanding digital platforms.

The Road Map aims to address the fact that too many health decisions are based on best guesses, not data. Lack of access to the right information can lead to life-threatening consequences: stock-outs of essential medicines and supplies, delayed response to disease outbreaks and ineffective or wasteful health care spending. Accelerating the use of data for decision making through the DUP will be central to transforming Tanzania's health sector.

The Road Map is the first digital health investment strategy of its kind in the region, and positions Tanzania to be a global leader in using better data for better health outcomes. The process followed to create the Road Map highlights PATH's dedication and expertise in serving as a strategic advisor and collaborator with governments, donors, and other implementing partners to create country-owned strategies that align partner investments with country priorities and vision.

"Tanzania is setting a new standard by which countries generate and use health data," said PATH's Digital Health Director Dykki Settle. "DUP is a great example of a country inviting PATH as a partner of choice to support country planning, ownership, and sustainability of modern health information systems that drive better health outcomes."

DUP builds on the PATH-implemented BID Initiative, which is already using data to improve the immunization program in the Arusha region of Tanzania, and is expanding to two additional regions this year. Grounded in the belief that better data, plus better decisions, will lead to better health outcomes, BID works to enhance immunization and health service delivery by improving data collection, quality, and use. Since 2015, PATH and the Tanzanian government, through BID, have implemented new systems to improve data use, strengthened vaccine supply chain data, and developed an electronic immunization registry to help every child receive correct and timely immunizations.

"PATH is excited to continue its work with the Government of Tanzania to improve health data quality and use," said Henry Mwanyika, DUP Tanzania Country Director at PATH. "The Government's leadership in setting improved health information systems as a national priority is leading to a healthier Tanzania."

The MOHCDGEC and PORALG are continuing to seek other partners, donors, and stakeholders to join the implementation of the Road Map. Together, this support and funding will ensure that all Tanzanians have access to high quality care and enjoy better health.

Posted August 10, 2017.