Tanzania Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa congratulating the Minister of Health, Hon Ummy Mwalimu
Tanzania Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa congratulating the Minister of Health, Hon Ummy Mwalimu

Tanzania civil society catalyses national NCD programme

02nd December 2019

The efforts led by the Tanzania NCD Alliance (TANCDA) and the Tanzania Diabetes Association (TDA), member of the coalition, to engage multi-sectoral stakeholders in the prevention and control of NCDs across the country successfully resulted in the launch of a national NCD programme.

TANCDA and TDA closely worked with the Tanzania Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC), and the President's Office Regional Administration and Local Government to establish more than 150 clinics in the public sector for prevention and control of NCDs across the country, involving the training of health care providers and provision of starter kits for NCD diagnosis in all the clinics. Furthermore, additional funding has been obtained to expand the programme to primary care level including health care centers and dispensaries. 

The success of this initiative has catalysed the launch by the MoHCDGEC of a national NCD programme, which has been officially inaugurated on 14 November 2019 in the presence of the Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania, Hon Kassim Majaliwa. The programme objectives include:

  • training physicians, nurses and community health workers
  • rolling out a screening programme for NCDs
  • reviewing and amending existing health policies in the country
  • establishing patient record systems
  • awareness raising and mobilisation at the community level.

As a first step, a framework for multisectoral collaboration consisting of relevant stakeholders has been initiated on 17-18 September 2019 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, involving more than 100 stakeholders from government, non-government, NGOs, research institutions, religious associations, law institutions and academia. About 3,000 participants attended the launch event, including ministers, parliament members, development partners, civil society, academic institutions, researchers, donors and community members of the capital city, Dodoma.

The programme is part of the implementation of the Tanzania national NCD strategic plan 2016-2020 and supports the global commitments made through the Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4 and 17.

The role played by civil society, especially TANCDA, TDA and the World Diabetes Foundation, in supporting, coordinating and working with the MoHCDGEC has been crucial in building trust with government representatives and launching the national NCD programme.