The first cases of HIV were reported in Tanzania in 1983. Since then, the Tanzanian government has increasingly scaled up its response and has developed several governmental bodies to address the epidemic. In 2010, UNAIDS reported that 5.7% of the adult population aged 15-49 were living with HIV. Fortunately, Tanzania benefits from strong political commitment to better health care for its citizens, with an emphasis on HIV care and treatment.
I-TECH began its work in Tanzania in 2006 at the request of the Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As part of the approach to addressing the HIV epidemic in Tanzania, the MOHSW requested technical assistance from I-TECH to develop teaching materials and integrate HIV and tuberculosis /HIV coinfection (TB/HIV) components into curricula at pre-service training institutions. Since that time, I-TECH Tanzania has been collaborating with the MOHSW and CDC to build the necessary human resources and infrastructure for training health care workers. Through the scale-up of student enrollment at pre-service institutions, improvements in in-service training, and a focus on expanding distance learning activities, I-TECH has developed innovative approaches to increase the number of well-qualified health care workers in Tanzania. I-TECH is working to transition programs to the MOHSW, so they may be integrated as sustainable components of the national health care system.
I-TECH Tanzania collaborates with local partners to:
- Strengthen pre-service curricula, standardize training materials, and increase HIV and TB/HIV resources available to pre-service training institutions.
- Strengthen the capacity of the Zonal Health Resource Centres (ZHRC) Network, a hub for training activities governed by the MOHSW, to coordinate, support, monitor, and evaluate decentralized HIV and AIDS training for health care workers.
- Develop and implement strategies to strengthen the operational systems and informational resources of ZHRCs so they can continue to support the professional development of tutors (faculty).
- Strategize and offer technical assistance on the use of distance learning resources and technology to meet health care worker training needs.
- Ensure high quality HIV and TB care, treatment, and support for Tanzanian citizens, including Zanzibar.
- Support the MOHSW to increase the number of qualified health care workers to staff dispensaries, health centres, and care and treatment clinics.
- Support the MOHSW's Human Resources for Health Scale-up program in its effort to train critical cadres of health care workers, especially; enrolled nurses, clinical assistants, clinical officers, and laboratory technicians.
- Increase the capacity of regional and district health teams to roll out, supervise, monitor and evaluate provider initiated testing and counseling (PITC) services in the Morogoro region of Tanzania.
- Implement TrainSMART, a database system created by I-TECH to track health care worker training.
- Integrate competency-based training on infection prevention and control (IPC) and gender-based violence (GBV) into new and existing pre-service training programs and teaching materials.
- Effectively transition all program activities to local ownership so as to ensure a strong and sustainable national health care system.