The Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation (BMF) stated its commitment to join hands with the Government of Tanzania and partners in implementing the health policy priorities set for the FY 2015/16. This was said by Dr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro, CEO of BMF during the Joint Annual Health Sector Policy Review (JAHSR) meeting held on 11th February 2016 at the Karimjee Hall in Dar es Salaam

The half day meeting that was chaired by the Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC), Hon. Ummy Mwalimu (MP) involved more than 100 representatives from the Government, Development partners and Non-State Actors. The meeting was meant to review and discuss the health sector priority policy for the year 2015/2016 and launch the 4th Health Sector Strategic Plan (July 2015 – June 2020).

Ummy MwalimuThe group photo of the chairperson Hon. Ummy Mwalimu (center), together with representatives from the government and development partners at the JAHSR meeting held at Karimjee Hall in Dar es Salaam.

Speaking at the meeting Hon. Ummy Mwalimu (MP) said the Government is committed to serve the citizens and for the current FY, priorities set will be attended to without fail. She called for complementarity in the support from all stakeholders to ensure Tanzanians health and well being is enhanced. The Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Muhammed Bakari presented 8 policy priorities, which amongst them will be Human Resources for Health with focus on ensuring equitable distribution of health workforce and effective Human resource planning at the Local Government authorities coupled with incentivizing those working in remote areas.

Suleiman JaffoThe chairperson Hon. Ummy Mwalimu (MP) cutting a tape to officiate the launching of the Health Sector Strategic Plan Four (HSSP IV) July 2015 – June 2020. On the right is the Chair of the Development Partners Group –Health, from Irish Aid Carol Hannon and left is the Deputy Minister PORALG, Hon. Suleiman Jaffo (MP)

In her statement the CEO of BMF, Dr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro said that BMF is committed to continue supporting the government in realization of the policy priorities. She urged that the government needs to ensure that it enacts a Compulsory attachment policy of health professionals that graduate to work in rural areas for a defined period of time before being fully registered. At the same time, she called for the Ministry of Health and stakeholders to ensure operationalization of the national pay and incentive policy of 2010 to begin with the health sector. She pleaded to the Minister for Health to ensure multi-sectoral involvement in setting up framework that will guide the implementation of these policy commitments. Impliedly both policies will ensure availability of adequate and motivated health professionals in rural and/or underserved areas. Dr. Ellen further reiterated that BMF is keen to share the best practices learnt in the past 10 years on innovative programs on Human resource for Health.

ceoDr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro, CEO of BMF speaking during the JAHSR held in Dar es Salaam.

During the meeting, Hon. Ummy Mwalimu took the opportunity to officially launch the Health Sector Strategic Plan IV (HSSP IV) which provides strategic direction to the government and its counterparts on advancement of the health sector in Tanzania for the coming 5 years period, as from July 2015 – June 2020.

In closing up the meeting, the Deputy Minister Presidents Office Regional Authority and Local Government (PO-RALG), Hon. Suleiman Jaffo (MP), he expressed commitment of the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG) in ensuring health services are delivered with quality in local government authorities through the decentralization and devolution system. He further mentioned that in the past 100 days since the new 5th phase Government was established under the vibrant leadership of President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, PORALG have strengthened accountability and health financing collection at the regional and district hospitals.

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Dear Partners and Friends,

Happy New Year!

In its endeavor to sustainability, enhancing growth and realigning to the changing national and global environment, including health sector development, we are pleased to inform you that, effective from 2nd November 2015 The Benjamin William Mkapa HIV/AIDS Foundation (BMAF) has changed its name to “The Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation (BMF)”.

The change instituted reflects the Foundation’s objectives, which is to implement programs beyond HIV and AIDS, as stipulated in our amended Trust Deed.  Our vision, mission and core values will remain the same, and we will continue to be committed in bringing hope to the underserved.

This transformation will slightly affect some of our communication entities including: 

The above changes will effectively begin from 1st February 2016.

We thank you for your continued support towards our noble work.

Released by:

Management of the Benjamin W. Mkapa Foundation

28th January 2016.

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On 30th January 2016, representatives from the HRH Alliance met with the newly appointed Parliamentary Social Services and Community Development Committee in Dodoma. The meeting aimed at presenting the Human Resource for Health Advocacy Strategy, introducing the Alliance, and share Alliance work plan for financial year 2016, as well as and the key Human Resources for Health ‘advocacy agenda’.

Speaking on behalf of the Alliance, the CEO of BMF, Dr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro said the intention of meeting the Committee was to request their support on improving Human Resource for Health (HRH) situation in Tanzania by enforcing the HRH agenda in respective bodies, with ultimate goal of ensuring availability and productivity of health workers.

Based on the fact that 74 percent of medical doctors are found in urban areas (Tanzania HR Profile, 2014), the Alliance requested the Parliamentarians to advocate towards national government to begin implementation of the National Public Pay and Incentive Policy of 2010 by first giving priority to the Health sector, as a way of motivating and retaining health workers, particularly in the rural and/or hard to reach settings of our country.

Additionally, the Alliance made a plea to the Committee to influence the government on hastening the finalization and implementation of Compulsory Attachment Policy, which intends to get medical doctors, clinicians and nurses work at least for two years in underserved areas before obtaining full registration. The policy, which is in awaiting to be presented to the Parliament, will also include framework for continuous professional development among health professionals.

 dodoma ceoDr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro, CEO of BMF speaking during the meeting with the Parliamentary Parliament Social services and Community Development Committee.

On behalf of the Alliance, she called for Members of Parliament through the respective Committee to influence the responsible Ministries, especially the parent Health sector Ministry, to ensure effective production, recruitment, retention and planning for HRH availability and productivity in underserved areas. Other Ministries mentioned to play part in HRH improvement were the Ministry of Finance and Planning, President’s Office Regional Administration, Local Government, Civil Service and Good Governance and Ministry of Education.

Presenting to the Committee, Alliance member, Ms. Manka Kway said in thirty Local Government Authorities where the recruitment assessment was conducted by BMF, it has shown the enormous shortage of HRH especially in underserved areas in specific cadres such as Doctors, Clinical officers, Nurses and Health Laboratories, who are the direct players in health services provision. She noted that HRH shortage is among factors contributing to high Maternal, Newborn and Child deaths. “Almost 8,500 Tanzanian women die due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth and 100,000 Tanzanian children die before reaching their fifth birthday” she added. Moreover the Alliance told the Committee that it is necessary to increase budgetary allocation for the health sector in order to address the numerous HRH challenges and beyond.

Expressing his gratitude, Hon. Peter Serukamba, promised that the Committee is committed in seeing Tanzanians are well served with equitable and quality health services which includes having in place qualified and motivated health workers.  He further pointed out that his Committee needs well researched information that will provide evidence and also support the Committee arguments to build a case for improved human resource for health.

Honorable Member of Parliaments on the other hand committed to seek clarifications from the government on the disparities in salaries between medical doctors and/or specialists that work in National, Regional and district hospitals despite having same qualifications/merits, years of experience and holding same positions. They further reiterated the need for the Government to promote a better package for rural placed doctors as a motivation and retention strategy.

Further Hon. Hussen Bashe (MP) requested the government to ensure it fulfills by 100% the proposed budget for the health sector in order to address multitude of health sector challenges.

On another note, Hon. Mussa Zungu (MP) advised the Mkapa Foundation that whilst carrying the noble work, it should continue addressing its own sustainability beyond the donors financing. The CEO of BMF assured the Committee that this is an aspect well envisioned by the Board of Trustees and Management, whereas diversification of source of funds to the Foundation are well considered in the 5 years Business Development Strategy ( 2013- 2018). 

mpsChairperson of Parliament Social services and Community Development Committee, Hon. Peter Serukamba (MP) addressing the meeting.

During the meeting, seven Members of Parliament from the Committee were nominated as Human Resource for Health CHAMPIONS and these are hon. Peter Serukamba (MP), Hon. Jasmine Tiisekwa (MP), Hon. Zito Zuberi Kabwe (MP), Dr. Raphael M. Chegeni (MP), Risala Said Kabongo (MP), Hon. Mussa Azzan Zungu (MP) and Hon. Faustine E. Ndugulile (MP). The seven champions will voice out collectively and make HRH within government top priority agenda.

For more information on the call for action on HRH please click here

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There is an old proverb which says “If you want to go fast, travel alone. If you want to go far, travel together.” This proverb has been unveiled in addressing the Human Resource for Health issues in Tanzania, by the Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation (BMF) taking the lead in the formation of an alliance known as “Human Resource for Health Strategic Alliance”.

The Alliance of 14 organization members that is composed of 11 organizations and 3 health professional associations was voluntarily formed to raise their voice on a common agenda of “Human Resource for Health”. The Alliance include White Ribbon Alliance Tanzania, African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF), Christian Social Services Commission (CSSC), ABTs Associates- PS3 Project, Touch Foundation, Tanzania Nursing Association, Medical Association of Tanzania, Pharmaceutical Society of Tanzania, Johns Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO), I-TECH, Elizabeth Glassier Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), Association of Private Health Facilities in Tanzania (APHFTA)  and Ifakara Health Institute (IHI). The Alliance formation is one of the planned outputs from the Advocacy project, which is led by the Mkapa Foundation and co-financed by the Irish Aid and USAID. The Chair of the Alliance is Christian Social Services Commission and the Secretary is the Mkapa Foundation.

The major aim of this alliance is to complement government efforts on HRH through its various plans and strategies that are already in place such as Big Result Now-health, Human Resources for Health Strategic Plan 2014-19, Human Resources for Health Production Plan 2014-2024 and Health Sector Strategic Plan IV.

hrh alliance

Member of HRH Alliance during the meeting held in Dar es Salaam

The Alliance overall goal is to ensure availability and productivity of Human resource for Health in Tanzania. To achieve that the alliance is positioned to influence local and central government to increase financial resource allocation for production, as well as providing preferential recruitment permit for cadres with critical shortage, such as Medical Doctors, Assistant Medical Officers, Clinical Officers & Assistants, Assistant Nursing Officers and Health Laboratory staffs, to address the crisis.

Prior to alliance formation, the Foundation called together partner organizations and professional associations who were willing to make a collective effort and advocate for reduction of HRH shortage in Tanzania which is currently 52% due to challenges related to planning, recruitment, retention, production and HRH development.

hrh alliance members

A group photo: Members of the HRH Alliance

The National HRH Strategic Alliance will be collaborating with Government through its key ministries to mention a few, President’s Office Regional Administration, Local Government, Civil Service and Good Governance; Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children; Ministry of Finance and Planning; Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Education together with Higher Learning Students Loan Board, to achieve the intended results.



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