This post originally appeared on the K4Health Blog.
Dr. Stella Mwita, Dr. Yohana Mkiramwene, Kim Ethier Stover, and Tana Wulji, Quality Improvement Advisors working with USAID’s Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) in Tanzania, also contributed to this blog.
We are the Quality Improvement Advisors to University Research Co., LLC, in Tanzania. In this role, we support the Tandahimba District in Mtwara Region in combining improvement and health workforce development approaches through the Tanzania Human Resources for Health Quality Improvement Collaborative. Our efforts aim to improve anti-retroviral therapy and prevention of mother-to-child transmission care.
The Tandahimba District has a severe shortage of health care workers in most of its health facilities. Rather than trying to add more health workers, USAID, HCI, and the Ministry of Health (MOH) decided to focus on maximizing the productivity of the few existing staff. We expected that improved productivity might cover the service gaps created by the shortage of health workers. Our work in Tanzania is adapted from HCI’s successful experience in Niger, where teams improved productivity, engagement, and clinical outcomes by combining human resources interventions and improvement approaches.