The project is being undertaken in the overall context of the Tanzania German Programme to Support Health (TGPSH), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare; the Improving Maternal and Newborn Health (IMNH) project is a module of the ‘key intervention area’ Social Health Protection and Health Financing.
Building upon the TGPSH, and closely interlinked with it, IMNH concentrates on aspects covered by the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. The development of human and institutional capacity to provide improved services to this target group in the regions of Lindi and Mtwara is expected to lead to tangible gains in health outcomes. The overall objective of the intervention is that especially poor and disadvantaged women and girls are increasingly using improved services in obstetric care in the Lindi and Mtwara regions.
Chief amongst the reasons for the inadequate use of obstetric health services in Lindi and Mtwara regions is the fact that biomedical equipment is inadequately functional and available, and thus detracts from the capacity of the health facilities in the two regions to offer the kind of consistent and reliable care which would lead to higher usage, and improved outcomes for poor and disadvantaged mothers and their newborns. As two contributing reasons for the present dysfunction are lack of sufficient numbers of adequately trained technical staff, and inadequate management of equipment upkeep, these are the two areas into which the project aims to intervene.
Therefore, it is intended to develop a maintenance management system for medical equipment in both regions and to institutionalise the system in all districts of Lindi and Mtwara. Furthermore, the capacity building requirements for the four health service levels (regional referral hospitals, district hospitals, health facilities and dispensaries) are to be assessed and appropriate training measures carried out; institutionalisation of the capacity development in maintenance at all administrative levels is expected to contribute to the sustainability of the intervention.
The technical assistance shall therefore a) assess the status quo, identifying deficits that are amenable to sustainable intervention through this project through capacity building, re-organisation, or procurement; b) elaborate intervention concepts for establishment of a regional service and maintenance management system for obstetric care devices, as well as a concept for capacity development of technicians at the designated health facilities and workshops; c) achieve consensus on the proposed concepts with the TGPSH team, regional and district health management team and MoHSW; d) implement the set-up of the service and maintenance management systems, the capacity building interventions, and procurement of essential equipment; and e) monitor the implementation carefully, evaluating the results and adjusting the models where necessary for future scale-up in other regions.