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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.
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.
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.